Great Britain

Khabib Nurmagomedov earns career-high £4.6m from retirement fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254

The Russian shockingly announced his retirement on Abu Dhabi’s ‘Fight Island’ after the main event, which marked the biggest payday of his career.

Nurmagomedov, who submitted interim champion Gaethje in the second round with a triangle choke on Saturday, also picked up a £40,000 bonus for Performance of the Night and £40,000 in fight week incentive pay.

The 32-year-old is also set to receive a pay-per-view share. Early last week, UFC president Dana White suggested that the event was on target to be the biggest selling PPV the promotion had ever staged.

When Khabib defeated Conor McGregor in the pair’s lightweight title bout in October 2018, the Irishman took home £2.3m, while ‘The Eagle’ earned £1.5m.

American Gaethje is believed to have received £400,000 following Saturday’s main event.

Khabib said a key reason for his retirement at 29-0 was the death of his father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, in July following complications caused by coronavirus.

Speaking after the fight against Gaethje, Khabib said: “God give me everything, and with my father, I love you so much, it was my last fight.

“No way I’m gonna come here [again] without my father. It was the first time after what happened with my father.

“When UFC called me about Justin, I talked to my mother, I promised her it would be my last fight,” Khabib said. “I gave my word, I have to follow it.”

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