Sunsetting Careers: Khabib Nurmagomedov Trading Cards, UFC – In the fight world, every retirement announcement is taken with a grain of salt. Case in point – Conor McGregor, who has retired and returned to the octagon more times than the Yankees have won the World Series. Many, however, are taking Khabib Nurmagomedov’s proclamation seriously, closing off one of the greatest careers in MMA history.
Nurmagomedov, who just turned 32, has a perfect 13-0 record in the UFC and an overall MMA record of 29-0. His decision comes following the passing of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, and a promise Khabib made to his mother that he wouldn’t fight again without his father alive to see the bout. The story of the tie between father and son was produced in a beautiful animated video prior to Khabib’s fight this past weekend:
Nurmagomedov arrived in the UFC after a lengthy time competing internationally, including for M-1 in his native Russia. He signed with the largest mixed martial arts organization in late 2011, and just a few months later won his first UFC bout in a special on FX. In just his third fight in the North American octagon, Nurmagomedov set the record for the most takedowns in a UFC bout, upending Abel Trujillo.
Nurmagomedov’s career wasn’t without controversy, to say the least. The first instance came in December 2013, when he was set to face Gilbert Melendez. The contest was cancelled for an undisclosed reason, as was the expected replacement bout against Nate Diaz. Following the second cancellation, Nurmagomedov remarked in an interview during The MMA Hour that, “if they (Melendez and Diaz) say that they’re willing to fight the best, they should fight the best. If they want, I’ll take them both at once in the cage.”
As well, Nurmagomedov was part of one of the most infamous moments in recent MMA history. At UFC 229, Nurmagomedov faced off with Conor McGregor, defeating the proud Irishman. Following the contest, Nurmagomedov attempted to attack McGregor’s teammate, Dillon Danis, with a brawl breaking out between the two sides.
Still, Nurmagomedov continued as one of the greats. His list of accomplishments includes three successful Light Heavyweight Championship defences, holding the record for most submissions in UFC’s lightweight history (three) and tying numerous other marks. He was named the 2016 International Fighter of the Year in the World MMA Awards and thrice was recognized by the UFC with Performance of the Night honors.
Nurmagomedov’s popularity among MMA fanatics has not deteriorated. Collectors have been able to grab his cards since 2013. Among his more recent cards are pieces from the 2020 Topps UFC Knockout series.
Congratulations on an incredible career, Khabib Nurmagomedov. You have made your father proud.
Sunsetting Careers: Khabib Nurmagomedov Trading Cards, UFC – Image Gallery
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