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Emotional Khabib Nurmagomedov hinted at UFC retirement TWO-WEEKS before hanging up gloves after Justin Gaethje win

LIGHTWEIGHT king Khabib Nurmagomedov dropped a huge retirement hint two weeks ago when admitting he wanted 'to be free'.

The Russian stunned UFC after calling time on his career moments after retaining his title against Justin Gaethje.

Khabib, 32, retired from the sport with an unblemished 29-0 record after promising his mother he would not fight anymore without his father in his corner.

His win over Gaethje was Khabib's first fight since the death of his father and trainer, Abdulmanap, in July.

And it appears retirement had been at the forefront of his mind since that fateful day.

In an interview with ESPN, he said: "I am eagle, I want to fly.

"When my time comes I'm gonna die. But before my time comes I want to fly. I want to be free.

"I want to do whatever I want. I want to spend time with my family, my friends, with my people. I want to live in my village.

"I don't want to put crazy goal in front of me.

"Soon, very soon I think, my career is going to finish. And I'm going to begin my new life without all this interview, without all this media stuff, weight cutting, hard training, focusing.

"I'm going to be getting a new life. And for life, I don't need too much. Even if you're a billionaire, you never eat more than one bread in one day.

"I want to be free, I want to fly, and I want to do whatever I want."

Khabib was visibly highly emotional following his second round submission win over his rival at UFC 254.

He crouched on the floor in the Octagon before delivering a speech paying tribute to his father.

Khabib said: "Today, I want to say this is my last fight.

“When UFC called me about Justin, I spoke with my mother and I said I wouldn't fight without father.

“And if I give my word, then I must follow it. UFC must make me No1 pound for pound fighter in the world, because I deserve it.

“I want to say thank you to Lorenzo and Dana.

“All this UFC team, everybody, they made a great show.

“Thank you to Justin, thank you brother. I know how you take care of your people.

"One day something will happen for you, you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.

“Today is my last fight here in the UFC."

Khabib retires as ‘truly the GOAT and best P4P UFC fighter’ according to Dana White in Conor McGregor and Jon Jones snub

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