Khabib Nurmagomedov  passed what many believed would be his toughest test to date, in awe-inspiring fashion, by choking out Justin Gaethje. Afterward, the undefeated, lightweight champ announced his storied career is over.
Both men came out tentatively. Gaethje fired in a leg kick and then just missed with a big right. Khabib picked up the pressure and tried to clinch up, but Gaethje broke free. Both men fired big punches but Khabib continued to press forward. Khabib planted a nice right hand and just missed with a flying knee. Khabib ate a counter from Gaethje but he continued to move forward. A counter left from Gaethje scored and Khabib responded with a nicely timed takedown. Khabib moved right into mount and rolled for an armbar, but the round ended.
Khabib came out pressuring again and Gaethje responded with a nice hook and then moments later, he scored with a hard leg kick,. Another leg kick from Gaethje scored but Khabib countered with a beautifully timed takedown. Khabib rolled into a triangle-choke and as Gaethje tapped several times, he went out (not sure why the ref didn’t stop it sooner). Wow. Khabib is 29-0.
An emotional Khabib wept in the center of the Octagon. The champ’s first bout since his father Abdulmanap passed away earlier this year due to complications from COVID-19.
Khabib announces he’s retiring; he says he told his mother after his father passed away this would be his last fight. Wow.
UFC 254 results
Here are the complete results for UFC 254, which took place in Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Justin Gaethje via technical submission (triangle-choke) R2, 1:34
Robert Whittaker def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alexander Volkov def, Walt Harris via TKO (body kick & punches) R2, 1:15
Phillip Hawes def. Jacob Malkoun via KO (punches) R1, 0:18
Lauren Murphy def. Liliya Shakirova via submission (rear-naked-choke) R2, 3:31
Magomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cutelaba via KO (punches) R1, 4:19
Tai Tuivasa def. Stefan Struve via TKO (punches) R1, 4:59
Casey Kenney def. Nathaniel Wood via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Alex Oliveira via submission (guillotine choke) R1, 4:40
Sam Alvey vs. Da Un Jung ends in split draw (28-29, 29-28, 28-28)
Miranda Maverick def. Liana Jojua via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) R1, 5:00
Joel Alvarez def. Alexander Yakovlev via submission (armbar) R1, 3:00