The #1 Pound for Pound fighter in the UFC has announced retirement after defeating Justin Gaethje via Triangle choke inside the second round. His father passing away during the pandemic crisis and telling his mother that it will be his last fight were the biggest factors in his decision. He credited his Father for the reason he is still undefeated.
He thinks that he has already achieved all but the #1 pound for pound ranking, which he got after beating Gaethje. Even the then Number 1 Pound for Pound Jon Jones agreed that Khabib should take the spot, at least for now since he is taking time to move up and start his journey to the heavyweight belt.
Although Jones did not take the GOAT chant happily, as many fans said that Khabib is the GOAT after retiring, discrediting Jones’s fantastic legacy. The argument is that Jones has a better resume but has failed more than one drug test.
Dana White has said that he could still convince Khabib on returning to get the 30-0 record but the Russian fighter is reluctant to return inside the Octagon. Khabib jokingly said that if the UFC offers him $100M, he might think of returning. He is giving off an impossible price so that the UFC will leave him alone.
In an interview, Khabib said that he has given the blessing to the winner of Mcgregor vs Poirier as the next lightweight champion. Since he has beaten both of them easily, he is not willing to fight the winner anymore.
Many fans thought that Tony Ferguson would be a good stylistic matchup for Khabib since he is willing to go to the ground and fight on his back. That question was answered on the Oliveira vs Ferguson fight, where he had no answer if the grappler is high level.
One could argue is that father time may have caught up to him, even Dana White said he looked slow in his recent fights. He is already 36 years old, fighting hungry prime fighters so it may be a difficult path for the title.
Another factor for Khabib retiring is he is already well off. There is a lot going on in his life outside of the sport. He is the biggest star in Russia and Middle-East and even bought an MMA Promotion in Russia.
He is also endorsing his teammate Islam Makhachev as the next lightweight champion. He thinks that many high ranked fighters avoid fighting him since it is a high risk, low reward type of fight given how low ranked Islam is right now. He was supposed to fight Rafael Dos Anjos but pulled out. According to some stories Islam is the only one that can go toe-to-toe with Khabib in their training camp.