Although the announcement that Khabib Nurmagomedov was retiring technically happened in October, the news is finally official. This has led to a response from his bitter rival, Conor McGregor.
It goes without saying that there is no love lost between Khabib and McGregor. The two had one of the ugliest rivalries in all of sport, with it repeatedly bleeding into altercations outside of the Octagon.
Of course, with their fight being the highest selling pay-per-view in UFC history, it made sense that Dana White wanted to delay Khabib’s retirement in hopes of booking that rematch. Although when that failed to come together, Dana finally accepted that the Dagestani was done.
Conor McGregor Reacts
Given the fact that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor were such heated rivals, it came as no surprise to see that the Irishman had something to say about his foe’s retirement. It is even less shocking to hear that his words were not exactly kind.
Taking to Instagram, the former champ-champ shared a picture of he and Khabib during the early days of their careers, before they ever became rivals. Here, he took some parting shots at the Eagle, implying that he made Nurmagomedov as famous as he is.
“Happy retirement kid, smell ya later. Never forget who came in the game and made ye. Straight from my big Irish balls. Remember folks, if you hate cutting weight so much, all you have to do is move up a division.
God bless 🤌”
Khabib Nurmagomedov Issues Statement
In addition to these words from Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov also posted his own statement regarding the official end of his career. He took this time to reflect on his career, and come to terms with things.
Posting to his own social media, the now-former lightweight champ thanked his team, as well as Dana White for everything that they have done. It is clear that this was not an easy decision for him to come to.
It was a good dinner with some great people.
@danawhite thank you so much brother and the entire @ufc team for the opportunity to prove myself, you guys have changed many live forever because of this sport 👊
Dana – I’ll never forget your attitude towards me, my father did not forget and my sons will remember you.
Today there was a real conversation between real men.
Also thank you to all team, sparing partners and all fans.
I hope you will accept my decision and understand me.”
It is quite frustrating that it took this long for the UFC to come to terms with Khabib Nurmagomedov retiring. While it is understandable that they wanted the Conor McGregor rematch, the Dagestani’s retirement could have been handled much better.
Either way, it seems that this is the end of an era. Nurmagomedov’s reign as lightweight champion will be remembered forever.