Khabib Nurmagomedov reacts after defeating Justin Gaethje at the Flash Forum on Yas Island.
The undefeated lightweight champion put up a perfect performance once again in Abu Dhabi with a dominant show to silence Gaethje by triangle choke submission and end the much-awaited fight at 1:34 in the second round. It was the first time Khabib performed following the death of his father Abdulmanap earlier this year.
Moments after moving to 29-0 in his career and cementing his legacy, Khabib took off his gloves and laid them down in the middle of the octagon as he announced his retirement from the sport, according to an MMA report.
“Today I want to say this was my last fight,” Nurmagomedov announced. “No way I’m going to come here without my father. It was the first time after what happened with my father, when UFC called me about Justin, I talked with my mother for three days. She doesn’t want me to go fight without my father but I promised her it was going to be my last fight,” he was quoted as saying by MMA.
“If I give my word, I have to follow this. It was my last fight here,” the champion added
Whittaker outlasts Cannonier
Boosting his status as top middleweight contender in the world, Robert Whittaker proved his mettle once again at the co-main event of UFC 254.
The former champion put on a technical striking showcase to avoid Jared Cannonier’s power for the better part of all three rounds before earning a unanimous decision in the co-main event on Fight Island. The judges all scored the fight 29-28 with Whittaker earning his second straight win after defeating Darren Till back in July, according to a MMA report.
“I’m very happy,” Whittaker said. “Obviously we got the result we wanted. It was a good fight, he’s a tough guy.”
The middleweight clash was really a display of speed and accuracy against a whole lot of power as Whittaker was fast with his hands and feet while Cannonier was looking for the knockout with almost every shot thrown. While Whittaker was connecting with better volume, Cannonier fired back with a series of thudding leg kicks that left a serious mark behind the former champion’s knee.
Volkov beats Harris
Bouncing back after suffering defeat at the hands of Curtis Blaydes in his previous bout, Alexander Volkov delivered a dominant performance against Walt Harris.
The Russian looked better than ever in his return to action as he showcased a technical kickboxing game to out duel Harris on the feet throughout the first round. Volkov then connected with the kick to Harris’ midsection that dropped him to the ground and ultimately led to the end of the fight at 1:15 into the second round, the MMA reported.
“I’m feeling great,” Volkov said about his win. “I’m ready for the new challenge. Now for me, staying here in top 10 for a long time and I will go for that belt.”
Volkov was technical and accurate with his striking throughout the opening round as he marched forward and threw straight punches to keep Harris at distance. A left jab from Volkov caught Harris off guard during one exchange, which then allowed the Russian to open up with a flurry of punches as he sought to get the finish.
Debutant Hawes knocks out Malkoun
Making his debut memorable, Phil Hawes made the most of his opportunity as he ran through Jacob Malkoun with a blistering 18-second knockout.
The action had barely gotten started with Hawes connected with a punch that immediately rattled Malkoun and put him on wobbly legs. Seizing on the opening, Hawes just continued firing punches in succession until Malkoun just slumped face first down on the canvas as the referee rushed in to stop the fight, according to MMA.
“I feel great, I feel awesome,” Hawes said following the win. “It was cool. I just knew if I landed, someone was going to sleep. I landed.”
Former UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov on Saturday shared a picture of meeting with the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed on his Instagram.
Walking away at the peak of his career, undefeated UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov, 32, announced his retirement after defeating Justin Gaethje on Saturday as the Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to the UAE capital for another Fight Island spectacle.
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