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Khabib retires after choking out Gaethje to retain UFC lightweight crown

FILE PHOTO: UFC 242 – Khabib Nurmagomedov v Dustin Poirier – Men’s UFC lightweight title

(Reuters) – Khabib Nurmagomedov choked Justin Gaethje unconscious in the second round to successfully defend his UFC lightweight title and then said he was retiring from the sport following a fierce brawl at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

The undefeated 32-year-old Dagestani collapsed in the centre of the octagon and sobbed following his defeat of Gaethje. On getting up he took off his gloves and said: “This is my last fight in the UFC.”

His father and coach Abdulmanap passed away in July of this year due to complications caused by COVID-19, and Nurmagomedov said that he talked to his mother for three days before deciding to accept the fight against Gaetje.

The American troubled the champion with leg kicks but succumbed to a triangle choke in the second round as Nurmagomedov cemented his claim to be the most dominant MMA fighter of all time with a 29-0 record.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Christian Radnedge)