Khabib Nurmagomedov called time on his mixed martial arts career following a second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.
He wore down his opponent before locking Gaethje in a triangle choke that rendered the American unconscious to extend his remarkable record to 29 wins and no defeats.
After the fight, Nurmagomedov said he was retiring to honour the memory of his father, coach and mentor Abdulmanap, who died in July from heart complications after contracting Covid-19.
His father had schooled him in combat sports from an early age and was in his corner in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 when Khabib choked out Dustin Poirier, on that occasion using a rear naked choke in another successful lightweight title defence.
"I talked to my mother three days ago. She didn't want me to go fight without my father, but I promised her it's going to be my last fight, and if I give my word, I have to follow this," an emotional Khabib said in the octagon.
in the penultimate bout at Flash Forum, Robert Whittaker defeated Jared Cannonier in their title eliminator to set up a possible rematch with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.