KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV smashed Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 - before sensationally retiring from the Octagon.
Khabib went 29-0 last night and after paying an emotional tribute to his late father will now call it a day from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
And in a twist, UFC boss Dana White has shockingly revealed the unbeaten star had suffered a "broken foot and broken toes" just THREE weeks ago.
Follow ALL of the reaction below...
CASH IS KING
UFC great Khabib Nurmagomedov is reportedly worth £80million, according to his late dad.
The Russian, 32, has pocketed a fortune throughout his illustrious career thanks to his blockbuster bouts against Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje.
Khabib defended his UFC lightweight title against the Notorious in 2018 following months of intense rivalry.
It massively bolstered his profile while also seeing him take home around £1.75m in prize money.
That further escalated in his next fight against Dustin Poirier in 2019 where he admitted to earning about £5.2m.
Khabib then pocketed £4.6m from his win against Gaethje over the weekend in what could be his last fight inside the octagon after he announced his shock retirement.
Khabib's dad Abdulmanap estimated £80m as a realistic total when pushed by Russian entrepreneur Igor Rybakov on his YouTube show.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has been ranked at only No6 in the MMA GOAT debate by fans.
UFC president Dana White hailed the unbeaten and recently retired Russian as the greatest but according to a list compiled by ranking site Tapology he misses out on the top five entirely.
There's also no place for Irishman Conor McGregor in the top ten.
JUST YOU WAIT
Who could Justin Gaethje, who Khabib Nurmagomedov beat at UFC 254, face next after the Russian's retirement?
SunSport runs through FIVE options here.
1. Conor McGregor
2. Tony Ferguson
3. Jorge Masvidal
4. Dustin Poirier
5. Dan Hooker
UFC president Dana White thanked Abu Dhabi and his Fight Island for hosting another showpiece event.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, fights have been staged in the UAE, including Khabib's UFC 254 win and subsequent retirement against Justin Gaethje.
Thank you Abu Dhabi for this historic incredible 2nd run on Fight Island. There are so many people to thank, it’s impossible to thank them all, but the service, staff and attention to detail at the W Abu Dhabi is second to none. pic.twitter.com/eyKmJaEyYt
— danawhite (@danawhite) October 25, 2020
Khabib's triangle choke of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 was a rare sight to behold.
It is only the third time a UFC contest has been ended in that way!
[email protected]'s triangle choke submission was just the third time we've seen a UFC title fight end with that technique. It joins Anderson Silva's triangle of Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 (MW title) and Tony Ferguson's triangle of Kevin Lee at UFC 216 (interim LW title). ufc254 pic.twitter.com/jYBBAU8hvN
— UFC News (@UFCNews) October 24, 2020
HAVE A WERD
Conor McGregor has got involved in a furious Twitter row over drug testing with former UFC star Fabricio Werdum.
It all started when McGregor, who is poised to return to UFC in January to fight Dustin Poirier, retweeted MMA star Sinead Kavanagh's post calling for 'pre-fight drug tests'.
Kavanagh is trained by McGregor and is contracted to Bellator, with Werdum rumoured to be close to signing for the organisation.
However Werdum was not impressed with McGregor's comment, posting: “Losers always will try to find excuses. Champions work very hard and don’t distracted by ants.”
But McGregor hit back by pointing out how Werdum was banned in 2018…
Actually wait! Aren’t you currently banned for steroids right now?
And got your sentenced reduced for ratting other people? And also just recently signed to this promotion I speak of? Woah.
Man, fuck you.
My lord, what a business this is.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 24, 2020
It is crazy to think @BellatorMMA still do not have a performance enhancing drug testing system in place. It is long overdue time the promotion adopts a reputable testing body in order to keep it’s clean athletes safe! https://t.co/G4w3vzv7mE
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 22, 2020
IS IT PARTY TIME?
UFC star Israel Adesanya shared a video of him cracking open the champagne.
Perhaps the Kiwi fighter was toasting Khabib's victory and retirement?
ALL TO PLAY FOUR
UFC newbie Michael Chandler wants a four-man tournament to find a successor to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The sport was stunned at the weekend when Khabib announced his retirement after securing a stoppage win against Justin Gaethje.
Now Chandler, the former Bellator star who was on standby if either of the main-eventers had to pull out at the weekend, wants a chance to succeed the great Khabib and he wants the legendary Conor McGregor in the mix too.
Speaking to BT Sport, the 34-year-old American said: “I’d love the opportunity to fight in a four-man tournament for that title.
“Conor [McGregor], [Dustin] Poirier, myself, [Tony] Ferguson. There’s some names that need to be fighting for a title, so let’s make it happen.
“Let’s be honest: I’m the new guy. I’m not going to come in here and say, ‘Hey guys I deserve a title shot.’ I’d love my name to be thrown into the mix.”
A huge crowd of Khabib Nurmagomedov's fans have been out dancing in the street.
The Russian supporters were toasting the Eagle's victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
Khabib subsequently retired after winning all 29 of his UFC fights.
NATE ON MY WATCH
Nate Diaz failed to congratulate Khabib after he beat Justin Gaethje and retired after UFC 254, instead claiming the unbeaten Russian's record is actually 29-1.
It is believed the Stockton native is referring to a backstage crap where he believes he had the better of Khabib.
In 2018, Diaz told TMZ that he 'slapped the f***' out of the MMA star.
And he added that his Russian friends 'didn't do s***'.
GOOD MORNING FIGHT FANS
UFC President Dana White has delivered another snub to Conor McGregor and Jon Jones – after declaring Khabib the GOAT.
White hailed Russian Nurmagomedov as the Greatest Of All Time and pound for pound best after he sensationally retired following his second-round stoppage of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi.
The 32-year-old has an undefeated record of 29-0 after he held on to his lightweight world crown.
White told the Eagle in an Instagram post: “You accomplished EVERYTHING you set out to do.
“You are the P4P best fighter in the world and you truly are the G.O.A.T of the sport. 29-0“
Meanwhile, Jones has rejected Khabib's claim he is the best pound-for-pound fighter.
Current P4P king Jones quickly refuted Khabib’s request in a lengthy Twitter rant.
He wrote: “Until I take that heavily crown, I grant you the spot. Enjoy Champ.”
He then tweeted: “15 world titles, numbers don't lie.”
In other news, Khabib suffered from mumps as well as a broken foot and toes in the build-up to his win over Gaethje.
According to UFC journalist Kevin Iole, Khabib's coach revealed he was out of action for two weeks with a case of the mumps.
Justin Gaethje called out Conor McGregor for a lightweight title showdown after his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Also reminding him of his defeat to Dustin Poirier in 2018, McGregor wrote: “Dustin KO'd you, as well as your wrestling/grappling and overall fear of the central positions being truly embarrassing tonight, Justin.”
His tweet has since been deleted but Gaethje wasted no time in responding to the outspoken Irishman with the lightweight belt now vacant following Khabib's retirement.
Gaethje said: “With him retiring, I'm No 1.
“Poirier and McGregor are going to fight. They haven't made it official, so if McGregor wants to bounce out and get the belt, then I'm right here.
“If they want to give it to someone else, then so be it.
“But I'll be ready. I'm ready to fight again. This is my job. This is my life. I love it so much.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov has reportedly pocketed a career-high payout of £4.6million after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.
The Russian's latest victory was his 29th win in UFC – maintaining a stunning 100 per cent success rate.
And RT claims he is also laughing all the way to the bank after pocketing £4.6m from the bout.
It’s added Khabib is also set to receive a post-fight bonus totalling nearly £70,000.
And there are also pay-per-view points in his contract which could see that figure get even higher.
It means Khabib is taking home slightly more than what he earned at UFC 242, where he beat Dustin Poirier.
It’s certainly a lot more than the £1.5m he received for winning against Conor McGregor at UFC 229, with the Irishman himself getting a higher £2.3m.
We are 'lucky' to have watched Khabib Nurmagomedov in action, says Dana White.
With pictures of Khabib all over Twitter, some fans have been left asking him why he wears a blonde wool hat.
Well, SunSport has the answer for you.
The hat is known in Russian as a papakha, and is popular in his southern area homeland of Dagestan.
He wears the accessory out of pride in his Avar culture.
It is made of shaggy sheep’s skin and wool, then adjusted with rope.
The hat signifies being strong and self-sufficient for life in the mountains.
GOAT CAN GLOAT
Following his retirement from UFC, fans have branded him the GOAT.
Which, of course, means Greatest Of All Time.
SMASH AND KHAB
Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from the UFC last night having lost just TWO rounds in his entire career.
The Dagestani grappler finished interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje with a triangle choke one minute and 34 seconds into the second round of their Fight Island showdown.
The 29-0 star not only walks away having never lost a bout – but finishes without ever having even really been tested.
In fact, 'The Eagle' lost just two rounds out of 60 in his entire career – with one of those coming last night against Gaethje.
CALL A KHAB
Khabib Nurmagomedov is not the only legendary fighter than has retired of late.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier, Henry Cejudo, and, in just six days, Anderson Silva, will have all retired from MMA in the no-crowd pandemic era.
Wild way to see some of the all-time greats in our sport go out.
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) October 25, 2020
'PERFECT AS YOU CAN GET'
Georges St-Pierre has reached out to congratulate Khabib after his win over Gaethje.
Before the fight at UFC 254, the Russian said: “Regarding Georges St-Pierre, that fight really inspires me.
“It was my father’s dream fight. But time passes, Georges St-Pierre will be 40 next year.
“I think he has to decide whether we’ll fight or not.”
St-Pierre has now shared a post on Twitter to congratulate the retired champ.
Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement announcement came as a shock to many but he had dropped strong hints about about his future during an interview with ESPN just two weeks before.
A two-minute clip from the aforementioned video is now going viral on social media.
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.”
Conor McGregor has wished his rival Khabib Nurmagomedov well after he announced his retirement from the sport.
Khabib won his last match against Justin Gaethje and ended his career with a 29-0 unbeaten record.
After his announcement McGregor tweeted: “Good performance @TeamKhabib.
“I will carry on.
“Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family.
Yours sincerely, The McGregors.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov's second round submission win against Justin Gaethje earned the Russian UFC champion a career-high purse of £5.4million – but his final payout will likely be far higher for the last fight of his career.
Khabib will take home disclosed pay of $6 million in addition to post-fight bonuses after his 13th successive win in the UFC and 29th overall career victory.
The £5.4m purse awarded to the Russian for his two most recent wins eclipses the career-high payouts of £2.7m given to Conor McGregor for his UFC 229 loss to Khabib
UFC president Dana White weighed in on the recent domestic violence allegations made against Mike Perry by his ex-wife Danielle Nickerson.
Nickerson recently alleged that Perry had been violent towards her in their relationship, which he vehemently denies.
When asked about the allegations against Perry, White said: “Yeah, I heard about it. I heard that she wanted to get a restraining order the judge didn’t allow the restraining order and nothing really came out of it.”
Georges St-Pierre has offered Khabib Nurmagomedov a return to the ring if he ever decides to come out of retirement.
St. Pierre praised Khabib’s final performance and overall career in an interview with ESPN before saying he's open to a fight with Khabib if he decides to come back to the sport.
He said: “As a competitor, maybe I would have liked to have an agreement to have a fight, to organize it for us as a fighter but also the fans. But as a human being I’m very very happy for him.”
FOUR'S THE WAY
After Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement last night, the UFC lightweight title is now vacant.
Michael Chandler thinks the title should be decided in a four-way battle between him and his potential rivals.
He said: “I’d love my name to be thrown into the mix. I’d love the opportunity to fight in a four man tournament for that title.
“But Conor, Poirier, myself, Ferguson. There’s some names that need to be fighting for a title so let’s make it happen.”