“Nobody saw it coming” – Michael Chandler picks ‘The Highlight’ of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s career

Khabib Nurmagomedov was recently honored by the UFC in an episode of UFC Icons on YouTube, which featured Michael Chandler and other fighters.

The video spoke about the legacy of ‘The Eagle‘ and how Nurmagomedov has repeatedly set himself apart from his peers. Having ended his career with a clean record, it goes without saying that the entire journey undertaken by the Dagestani fighter serves as an inspiration to the entire world of combat sports.

In the video, fighters were asked to pick the crowning moment of Nurmagomedov’s career. Top UFC lightweight contender Michael Chandler picked Khabib Nurmagomedov’s final fight against Justin Gaethje. Chandler said:

“My favourite Khabib moment has to be his last fight. I think it was the abrupt nature in which Khabib announced his retirement. Nobody saw it coming. Nor did anybody believe that it had just happened.”


Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje locked horns inside the octagon at UFC 254 in October 2020, marking Nurmagomedov’s third and final title defense. He hung up his gloves and announced his retirement after defeating Gaethje via a second-round triangle choke technical submission.

Michael Chandler explains why Khabib Nurmagomedov’s dominant performance at UFC 254 was different from others

While Nurmagomedov has been dominant in most of his fights, his performance against Gaethje was exceptionally so.

Chandler believes that the pressure Nurmagomedov was feeding off superceded humal levels. On this topic, Michael ‘Iron‘ Chandler has the following to say:

“It [Gaethje fight] was also right after he had just lost his father… You think about the pressure of defending your world title, and you couple that with the fact that you just lost your father, you juts lost your hero, you just lost your coach. The average human being would not be able to perform at those levels under those type of circumstances.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, truly played a huge role in the fighter’s life.

Unfortunately, Abdulmanap passed away in 2020 due to his health conditions, which were only worsened by COVID-19.

Nurmagomedov went on to face ‘The Highlight,’ Justin Gaethje, after his father’s death, defeating him via round two submission. However, immediately after the fight, Nurmagomedov fell to his knees as a surge of emotions swept through him.

He hung up his gloves with a pro MMA record of 29-0-0, claiming it would be hard for him to go on without his father octagon-side, among other personal issues.

Ever since, Nurmagomedov has slid into the role of coach and is doing quite well!

Khabib Nurmagomedov is in the UFC Apex, but he’s not the Nurmagomedov that’s wearing the Papakha.His cousin Umar Nurmagomedov now has that honor.#UFCVegas57

Edited by kennedyking2016

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