Khabib Nurmagomedov is a chapter that is now completely closed for Conor McGregor. While the UFC has been trying to book a rematch between their two biggest stars, the motive for Conor McGregor was different.
However, Khabib Nurmagomedov finished Justin Gaethje with relative ease at UFC 254, beating him by technical submission in the second round to unify the Lightweight titles for the second time in 13 months.
Conor McGregor reacted to Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement, congratulating his biggest rival:
This will mean that the Lightweight division will be in a whole new era. Khabib Nurmagomedov was the gold standard of the division since early 2018, but that was only when he was formally crowned as the undisputed Lightweight Champion.
It was an incredible feat of dominance achieved in the most stacked weight class in UFC history. Khabib Nurmagomedov's win over Justin Gaethje saw his career end at 29-0. Although it was an unprecedented record, to begin with, many believed that Khabib Nurmagomedov would be going for 30-0. However, that doesn't seem to be the case.
Conor McGregor's coach John Kavanagh also paid respect to the Lightweight king, seemingly burying the hatchet:
How does UFC plan to usher in the post-Khabib Nurmagomedov era?
It seems as though the timing of all of this has still benefited UFC in one way or the other. While they're losing their second-biggest star on the roster, they now have the opportunity to have their biggest star Conor McGregor back in the Lightweight title picture.
As we know, Dustin Poirier will face Conor McGregor in a rematch at UFC 257 this January. With Khabib Nurmagomedov vacating the title, it will likely lead to the UFC booking Poirier vs. McGregor as a fight for the undisputed Lightweight Championship.
It's going to be interesting to see what the future of the Lightweight division will be like post-Nurmagomedov.Published 25 Oct 2020, 03:07 IST