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Khabib Nurmagomedov predicted he would retire undefeated from the UFC five years ago

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor Press Conference
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 22 Mar 2021
News

Khabib Nurmagomedov posted a tweet back in 2015 that predicted exactly how the Dagestani grappling master would retire almost six years later.

'The Eagle' became one of the best mixed martial artists of all time during his run in the UFC. He decided to hang up his gloves with a clean record of 29-0 and topping the pound-for-pound rankings - an unprecedented feat.

But while his fighting abilities were on full display competing inside the octagon, who could have guessed Khabib also had some skills as a clairvoyant?

One year after his victory over Rafael dos Anjos, Khabib proposed a Q&A to his fans on Twitter. One question posed to Khabib was how long he thought his lightweight title reign would last. Khabib replied -

"I will retire undefeated"

At that time, Khabib was out of action due to a severe injury that almost put an end to his career.

The break would hinder Khabib's journey towards the UFC lightweight belt. Returning in 2016, two years after his last performance, he defeated Darrell Horcher.

From there, 'The Eagle' would need to prove himself two more times before finally being given a title shot - a fight for the vacant lightweight belt against Al Iaquinta.

After handling Iaquinta, Khabib's next fight would be arguably the biggest in MMA's history when he had to neutralize the explosive Conor McGregor at UFC 229.

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Following his trial by fire with the Irishman, Khabib still defended his championship against Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje before making a shocking retirement announcement in 2020.

Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement

UFC 254: Khabib v Gaethje
UFC 254: Khabib v Gaethje

Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement shocked combat sports fans worldwide. He announced his decision inside the octagon, right after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

Although he was adamant about keeping his word, the UFC and its president, Dana White, persistently tried to convince him to resume his career, but to no avail.

Five months after his retirement, the promotion has finally given in and accepted Khabib's decision. White informed fans with a tweet earlier this week.

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Many continue to discuss what has led Khabib to retire from the sport where he was arguably the best, while still at the top and at a competitive age.

Khabib says that it is a promise to his mother that keeps him out of the cage. He promised her he would never fight again without his father by his side.

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died months before the Gaethje fight in 2020 due to COVID-19 complications.

Published 22 Mar 2021, 00:54 IST
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