Khabib Nurmagomedov announced the end of his career on Saturday when he beat Justin Gaethje in the UFC 254 headliner.
The undefeated UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov (29-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC) choked out Gaethje (22-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in the second round of their matchup at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, then subsequently retired, citing the impact of his father’s death earlier this year.
No matter where one thinks that Nurmagomedov falls on the sport’s pound-for-pound list, there’s no doubting he’s an all-time great. His decision to hang up his gloves showed how revered he is within the MMA community, as nearly every big name in the sport came out and heaped praise on “The Eagle.”
Check below to see how dozens of MMA luminaries – from UFC employees to fellow fighters and former foes – reacted to Nurmagomedov’s retirement at UFC 254.