McGregor pays tribute to Khabib after UFC icon retires from fighting

‘Never forget who came in the game and made you’: Conor McGregor can’t resist one final swipe at rival Khabib Nurmagomedov after UFC icon officially retires from fighting

  • Conor McGregor has taken one last dig at old rival Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • The Russian UFC icon confirmed his retirement and vacated his titles on Friday
  • In a post on Instagram, McGregor wished the 32-year-old a ‘happy retirement’
  • Irishman then took a swipe at his rival, claiming to be the reason for his success 

Conor McGregor has wished his arch-nemesis Khabib Nurmagomedov a ‘happy retirement’ after the Russian officially hung up his gloves – but couldn’t resist taking one last dig at him.

Nurmagomedov had suggested that his time in the octagon had come to an end following the death of his father last year. But there has been constant talk that he would reverse his decision and return to the big stage.

However, UFC president Dana White confirmed on Friday that the longest-reigning lightweight champion has vacated his titles and would not fight again.

Conor McGregor (right) has taken one last dig at old rival Khabib Nurmagomedov (left)

White had earlier posted: ’29-0 it is. He is 100 per cent officially retired. It was incredible to watch you work @TeamKhabib thank you for EVERYTHING and enjoy whatever is next my friend.’

Upon hearing the news, McGregor, who was choked out by Nurmagomedov in 2018, took to social media to send the 32-year-old a parting message while crudely claiming he was the reason for the Dagestani’s success. 

‘Happy retirement kid, smell ya later,’ McGregor wrote on Instagram, accompanied by a picture of the two fighters smiling for a photograph. 

‘Never forget who came in the game and made ye. Straight from my big Irish balls. Remember folks, if you hate cutting weight so much, all you have to do is move up a division. God bless.’

McGregor, who was choked out by Nurmagomedov in 2018 (pictured), wished him a ‘happy retirement’ on Instagram

The UFC president made the announcement on Twitter after meeting the fighter on Thursday

Khabib retires as the longest-reigning UFC lightweight champion, having held the belt from April 2018 up until quitting the sport. 

His last fight came against Justin Gaethje last October, when he successfully defended his title once more on Fight Island. 

Afterwards, he emotionally placed his gloves in the middle of the ring to signal his retirement, having reportedly sworn on his father’s grave that he would give up the sport.

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died in 2020 following complications having contracted the coronavirus.   

Khabib also posted on his Instagram to thank White and the UFC family, and in particular White, for their help down the years.  

‘It was a good dinner with some great people,’ he wrote.

‘Dana White, thank you so much brother and the entire UFC team for the opportunity to prove myself, you guys have changed many live forever because of this sport.

The Dagestani fighter retires with an unbeaten record having held the lightweight title

 Khabib admitted after the death of his father Abdulmanap (left) that he was ready to quit

‘Dana – I’ll never forget your attitude towards me, my father did not forget and my sons will remember you.

‘Today there was a real conversation between real men.

‘Also thank you to all team, sparing partners and all fans. I hope you will accept my decision and understand me.’

Michael Chandler is in line to fight Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title now that Nurmagomedov has retired. 

According to ESPN, the plan is to have Chandler and Oliveira compete for the vacant belt at UFC 262 on May 15.  

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