CONOR MCGREGOR has reacted to the news that his UFC rival Khabib Nurmagomedov’s has retired from the sport following victory over Justin Gaethje.
The Dagestan star made relatively short work of his American opponent, choking him out in the second round of their clash at UFC 254.
Following the dominant win, the 32-year-old broke down in tears before paying tribute to his late father, who died after contracting Covid-19 following heart surgery earlier this year.
"Thank you to these guys with me, with my father more than 10 years," he said.
"Coach Javier I love him so much, all my team. Thank you.”
Nurmagomedov then shocked fans by announcing he would be retiring from the sport having racked up 29 victories without defeat.
"Today I want to say this is my last fight. No way am I coming here without my father. When UFC comes to me about Justin I spoke with my mother for three days. She didn't want me to fight without father. And I said this is my last fight and I have given her my word.
“There is only one thing I want from UFC, to put me as No 1 pound-for-pound fighter in UFC, greatest in world. I think I deserve. I want to say thank you Dana, Fertita brothers.
"Thank you so much Justin. I know you are great, I know how you take care of your people. Be close with your parents, because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow. Thank you coach, thank you guys. Today is my last fight in the UFC.
"It was my father's dream. Dustin [Poirier] and Conor [McGregor] will fight in January, I have choked both out, I am not interested in this."
Good performance @TeamKhabib.
I will carry on.
Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family.
Yours sincerely, The McGregors.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 24, 2020
The announcement will come as a blow to McGregor, who had been hoping to line up a rematch with Nurmagomedov, following his defeat by submission at the hands of the Russian in 2018.
Despite this, McGregor was among the first to congratulate Nurmagomedov and pay his respects to his late father in a message that also saw the Crumlin man vow to continue on in the sport regardless of Nurmagomedov’s announcement.
He wrote Twitter: “Good performance @TeamKhabib. I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors."