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Khabib Nurmagomedov closes career with UFC 254 Performance Bonus

Khabib Nurmagomedov cracks Justin Gaethje in UFC 254 Performance of the Night

In the UFC’s final event of its second stint on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov put on a masterful performance in the final fight of his career.

The victory not only cemented Khabib’s legacy, it also earned him one of the UFC 254 performance bonuses.

Performance of the Night: Khabib Nurmagomedov

While most would have thought that Justin Gaethje would outgun Khabib on the feet, the champ used a stinging jab and sharp combinations to negate his foe’s power punches.

He also used his hands to set up his all-important takedowns, one of which cemented the fight.

Khabib took Gaethje down late in the first frame, but couldn’t find a finish before the clock wound down. In the second round, however, he again put Gaethje on the canvas, this time sinking a triangle choke that put the lights out.

It’s no surprise that, looking as good as he ever has in the Octagon, Khabib walked away with a $50,000 UFC 254 Performance of the Night bonus.

Khabib Nurmagomedov shoots on Justin Gaethje in UFC 254 Performance of the Night

Performance of the Night: Magomed Ankalaev

In a rematch that has seen the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 force several restarts, Magomed Ankalaev finally put a stamp on his rivalry with Ion Cutelaba.

Ankalaev won their first fight in February of this year, but the bout was considered controversial, as the referee stopped the fight when he felt Cutelaba was out on his feet. Cutelaba immediately protested, and the UFC quickly moved to rebook the fight.

Though it didn’t happen nearly as soon as originally planned, Ankalaev made sure to leave no doubts at UFC 254.

He laid Cutelaba out at 4:19 of the first round, leaving him flat on his back.

The victory earned Ankalaev the other UFC 254 Performance of the Night bonus.

Magomed Ankalaev punches Ion Cutelaba in UFC 254 Performance of the Night

Fight of the Night: Casey Kenney def. Nathaniel Wood

The UFC 254 Fight of the Night honors went to prelim competitors Casey Kenney and Nathaniel Wood. The two fight an exciting back and forth bout that went the distance with Kenney taking the unanimous nod from the judges.

Both fighters went home with an additional $50,000, however.

Casey Kenney cracks Nathaniel Wood in UFC 254 Fight of the Night

TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov issues his first statement following UFC 254 victory and retirement


UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Performance Bonuses

  • Performance of the Night: Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Performance of the Night: Magomed Ankalaev
  • Fight of the Night: Nathaniel Wood vs. Casey Kenney

Related Video > Fighters react to Khabib’s surprise UFC 254 retirement

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Georges St-Pierre reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov retiring: ‘I was not expecting that’

Khabib Nurmagomedov - Georges St-Pierre

(Courtesy of ESPN MMA)

Former two-division UFC champion Georges St-Pierre reacted to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announcing his retirement following UFC 254 on Saturday.

St-Pierre has been in the headlines recently as a potential opponent for Nurmagomedov in the future. When “The Eagle” took off his gloves and retired, St-Pierre was surprised.

“I was surprised. I was not expecting that at all,” St-Pierre told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “I was surprised he retired because I thought he wanted to do, everyone in the media said he wanted to do 30-0, but that’s his choice. What a way to finish a career.”


TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov issues his first statement following UFC 254 victory and retirement


Related Video > Fighters react to Khabib’s surprise UFC 254 retirement

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Jon Jones bites back at Khabib Nurmagomedov being called the UFC’s GOAT

Khabib Nurmagomedov - Jon Jones

There are many ways to look at the career that Khabib Nurmagomedov has had, but nearly anyone can agree that it has been spectacular.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones doesn’t disagree with those that say Khabib has had an outstanding, even dominant career. What he does disagree with is those that are now calling him the Greatest of All Time.

Even UFC president Dana White, following Khabib’s submission victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on Saturday, called Khabib the “baddest motherf—er on the planet.”

Of course, there probably is some “recency bias” as UFC commentator Jon Anik acknowledged, but that plays a part in what is being argued: GOAT status or official pound-for-pound ranking.

“The pressure that Khabib puts on you is unbelievable. Literally didn’t respect his punching power. Just walked right into everything and did what he wanted.

“Then the second round, he keeps the pressure on. For that submission, he locks it up, gets it and chokes him out. Unbelievable,” White continued.

“He is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and you seriously have to start putting him up there at GOAT status with whoever else you think is the GOAT.”

That’s actually an important distinction that White made. While there is an official men’s and a women’s pound-for-pound UFC ranking, it is not synonymous with being the GOAT, though both are highly subjective.

The pound-for-pound ranking lumps all weight classes together, listing the top fighters at any given point in time. The GOAT status is more of a career retrospective ranking.

For instance, officially retired UFC fighters are not listed in the pound-for-pound rankings. Randy Couture, Georges St-Pierre, Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, and any other number of highly regarded fighters are not available for ranking. Only fighters currently under contract are available to be considered the current best pound-for-pound fighter.

There is no official GOAT ranking. Who is thought of as the GOAT is simply a water cooler or bar top discussion that people have on their own.

But in the same vein, Jones has every reason to have the
“water cooler” discussion on Twitter with other fighters, pundits, and fans, to make his case for being the GOAT, while still respecting what Khabib has achieved.

Here’s how Jon Jones compared his career vs. that of Khabib Nurmagomedov


TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov issues his first statement following UFC 254 victory and retirement


Related Video > Fighters react to Khabib’s surprise UFC 254 retirement

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Khabib Nurmagomedov announces retirement in emotional UFC 254 Octagon Interview


An emotional Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement following his UFC 254 win over Justin Gaethje on Saturday.

“The Eagle” defeated Gaethje by triangle choke in the second round of the fight card’s main event. During his post-fight interview, the 32-year-old explained his decision to retire.

Nurmagomedov’s fighting resume will stand with an unblemished record of 29-0. His career spanned 12 years from 2012 to 2020.

(Courtesy of UFC)


TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov issues his first statement following UFC 254 victory and retirement


Related Video > Fighters react to Khabib’s surprise UFC 254 retirement

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Post-Fight Press Conference video

UFC 254 Khabib vs Gaethje press conference


The stars of UFC 254 field questions from the media following Saturday’s blockbuster event on UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Tune in for the UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje post-fight press conference live following the event.

The video will be available for on-demand viewing immediately following the live stream.

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje headlined UFC 254 with their championship unification bout in what many believe was poised to be the UFC Fight of the Year.

UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Live Results from Fight Island

NOTE: UFC 254 has a special Main Card start time of 2 pm ET / 11 am PT with the Prelims beginning at 11 am ET / 8 am PT.

(Video courtesy of UFC)


TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov responds to being compared to Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali | UFC 254


Trending Video > If Khabib beats Justin Gaethje, does he surpass Jon Jones as the Pound for Pound best?

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UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje fight card

UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje
Date: October 24, 2020
Venue: Flash Arena
Location: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

gate: N/A
attendance: N/A

Fighter Awards & Bonuses ($50,000 each)
– Fight of the Night: ???
– Performance of the Night: ???
– Performance of the Night: ???

UFC 254 News & Videos

UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje Fight Card

Main (2 pm EST on ESPN+/PPV)

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov (c) def. Justin Gaethje (ic) by Technical Submission (triangle choke) R2, 1:34*
  • Robert Whittaker def. Jared Cannonier by Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Alexander Volkov def. Walt Harris by TKO (body kick and punches) R2, 1:15
  • Phil Hawes def. Jacob Malkoun by KO (punches) R1, 0:18
  • Lauren Murphy def. Liliya Shakirova by Submission (rear-naked choke) R2, 3:31
  • Magomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cuțelaba by KO (punches) R1, 4:19

Prelims (12 pm EST on ESPN2/ESPN+)

  • Tai Tuivasa def. Stefan Struve by KO (punches) R1, 4:59
  • Casey Kenney def. Nathaniel Wood by Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Alex Oliveira by Submission (guillotine choke) R1, 4:40
  • Da Un Jung vs. Sam Alvey by Draw (split) (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)

Early Prelims (11 am EST on ESPN 2 / ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)

  • Miranda Maverick def. Liana Jojua by TKO (doctor stoppage) R1, 5:00
  • Joel Álvarez def. Alexander Yakovlev by Submission (armbar) R1, 3:00

*For UFC lightweight championship

The post UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje fight card first appeared on MMAWeekly.com.

Brock Lesnar new featured fighter in EA Sports UFC 4 video game (trailer)

Brock Lesnar UFC 4 video game Brocktober


Heavyweight legend Brock Lesnar has entered the virtual-Octagon as part of the latest update for EA SPORTS UFC 4. Lesnar will be joined by fellow fighters Jennifer Maia and Askar Askarov, along with all-new vanity items just in time for Halloween… or as the UFC puts it BROCKTOBER!

UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Live Results from Fight Island

Players can jump into the game until Friday, October 30 to get Lesnar. Additionally, from October 22, EA SPORTS UFC 4 will open the Octagon to all players with Free Play Days running until Sunday, October 25 at 11:59pm PST. 

New Halloween vanity items will come on October 22 and October 29, including the Skeleton vanity set, Skulls and Roses shorts and more. In total, the two drops will bring more than 40 new cosmetic items to the game for players.

Please visit the official EA SPORTS UFC 4 web page for full all the details on the new updates.

(Video courtesy of EA SPORTS UFC)


TRENDING > Dana White: Khabib vs. Gaethje trending to be biggest UFC event ever


Trending Video > Does Khabib surpass Jon Jones if he beats Justin Gaethje?

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

UFC 254 results: Khabib Nurmagomedov puts Justin Gaethje to sleep, retires in a ball of emotion

Khabib kneels and cries after beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov etched his name in stone in the annals of UFC history with his second-round submission of Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on Saturday on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

Moments after finishing Gaethje, Khabib then announced his retirement.

It was a masterful performance from a man that entered the fight with the heaviest of hearts.

Khabib walked into the Octagon at UFC 254 with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Undefeated at 28-0, his spotless record was on the line. His status as the UFC lightweight champion of the world was at stake. Him possibly surpassing Jon Jones as the top fighter in the world was a consideration. 

Perhaps a heavier weight than any other, however, was Khabib’s father having passed away over the summer. Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, was his lifelong trainer and driving force. The fight with Gaethje was the first time that Khabib had fought since losing his father.

Gaethje earned his shot at Khabib by defeating Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title at UFC 249 back in May. That opportunity came about when Khabib, who had been slated to fight Ferguson, was unable to make it to the Octagon because of being on lockdown in Russia because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Gaethje entered the fight with Khabib on a four-fight winning streak.

The first round started slow with Gaethje frequently feinting a takedown. Partway through the round, Khabib started to employ his jab, which set up several combinations that stung Gaethje. Just as Khabib begin to really stick the jab, Gaethje landed a couple hard punches of his own that got the champ’s attention.

It took him until the final minute of the frame, but Khabib shot and landed a takedown, which nearly set up an armbar, but he ran out of time. It was a strong opening round by Khabib, who showed how good his hands are, despite Gaethje landing quite a few solid leg kicks.

Khabib knew what he was doing was working and he kept it up in round two. Instead of hanging back for Gaethje to make a mistake, Khabib pressed him with his jab and combinations.

He ate a hard left hand and several leg kicks from Gaethje, but Khabib kept pressing forward. He finally shot, quickly moved to Gaethje’s back, and dragged him to the canvas.

Moments later, Khabib had a triangle choke locked up and Gaethje tried to tap, but fell to sleep.

Overcome by the emotion of the moment, Khabib kneeled down in the middle of the Octagon and began sobbing. When he awoke, Gaethje kneeled by his side, hugging the man that had just made him unconscious, realizing the enormity of Khabib’s loss of his father.

“I know he made his father so proud,” Gaethje said after the fight.

Khabib Nurmagomedov announces his retirement

Khabib notched his 29th consecutive win as a professional fighter. And then he called it quits.

Citing his love for his father and a promise to his mother, Khabib retired as the undefeated UFC lightweight champion of the world.

“Today I want to say, this was my last fight. No way I can come here without my father,” said Khabib. “I promised (my mother) this would be my last fight.”

The only thing he asked for? That he be elevated to the No. 1 ranking in the Pound for Pound fighter list.

“You guys have to put me on No. 1 pound for pound fighter in the world because I deserve it.

“Today is my last fight here in UFC.”


TRENDING > Robert Whittaker decisions Jared Cannonier in UFC 254 co-main event


Related Video > Does Khabib surpass Jon Jones as the pound for pound best fighter after beating Gaethje?

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UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje results

UFC 254 Main Card (2 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV)

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Justin Gaethje by technical submission (triangle choke) at 1:34, R2
  • Robert Whittaker def. Jared Cannonier by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Alexander Volkov def. Walt Harris by TKO (kick and punches) at 1:15, R2
  • Phil Hawes def. Jacob Malkoun by KO (punches) at 0:18, R1
  • Lauren Murphy def. Liliya Shakirova by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:31, R2
  • Magomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cutelaba by KO (punches) at 4:19, R1

UFC 254 Preliminary Card (11 a.m. ET on ESPN+)

  • Tai Tuivasa def. Stefan Struve by KO (punches) at 4:59, R1
  • Casey Kenney def. Nathaniel Wood by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Alex Oliveira by submission (guillotine choke) at 4:40, R1
  • Da Un Jung vs. Sam Alvey split draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)
  • Miranda Maverick def. Liana Jojua by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00, R1
  • Joel Alvarez def. Alexander Yakovlev by submission (armbar) at 3:00, R1

Robert Whittaker decisions Jared Cannonier in UFC 254 co-main event

Robert Whittaker cracks Jared Cannonier at UFC 254

The top two contenders in the middleweight division met in the UFC 254 co-main event on Saturday at Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Former champion and No. 1 ranked Robert Whittaker and No. 2 ranked Jared Cannonier were originally slated to face off at UFC 248 in March, but Whittaker withdrew from the bout due to personal reasons. The bout was rescheduled for Saturday and proved worth the wait.

Cannonier entered the fight riding a three-fight winning streak and was unbeaten in the 185-pound division. For Whittaker, he rebounded in his previous outing with a dominating win over Darren Till.

Whittaker established his jab early as he bounced on the outside. Cannonier targeted Whittaker’s legs, knocking him down with a leg kick early in the opening frame.

Whittaker outworked Cannonier and dictated the pace of the fight. As the bout wore on, Whittaker’s jab began to land more often and the wear was showing on Cannonier’s face.

The biggest moment in the bout came in the final round. Whittaker threws a combination and ended it with a kick that staggered Cannonier. Whittaker went on the attack, knocking Cannonier down. He followed Cannonier to the canvas and advanced to the mount position. Cannonier rolled, giving up his back before scrambling back to his feet.

Once they were back standing, Cannonier stunned Whittaker with a right hand. Whittaker quickly clinched and rode out the final seconds of the fight. After 15 minutes of fighting, all the judges scored the bout for Whittaker by unanimous decision. All three scorecards read 29-28.

TRENDING > UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje Live Results from Fight Island

“I’m very happy that it’s all over. Obviously, we got the result that we wanted,” Whittaker said following the win. “He’s tough.  He’s resilient.  I thought I had him gone.  He stayed in.  Then he got back up and started putting it on me.  It was a good fight.  He’s a tough guy.”

With the win, Whittaker solidified his place as the top contender in the division and next in line to face champion Israel Adesanya in his next bout. The two previously fought at UFC 243 on Oct. 6 with Adesanya winning by knockout.

Whittaker wasn’t thinking about a rematch against Adesanya on Saturday. He was focused on getting home to his family.

“I’m going straight home and putting up my Christmas tree.  I promised the kids,” he said.  “That’s what’s happening.”

Khabib beat Justin Gaethje having broke his foot three weeks before UFC 254

Khabib Nurmagomedov shoots on Justin Gaethje at UFC 254

Khabib Nurmagomedov put on one of the most impressive performances his fighting life at UFC 254 on Saturday when he choke Justin Gaethje unconscious in the second round.

If doing that after the passing of his father over the summer weren’t enough, UFC president Dana White revealed at the post-fight press conference that Khabib had been in the hospital with a broken foot just three weeks prior.

“What this guy’s been through, we’re all lucky that we got to see him fight tonight,” What said.

“Apparently he was in the hospital, he broke his foot three weeks ago. So he has two broken toes and a bone in his foot that is broken or something like that. That’s what his corner was telling me.”

White insisted that even he didn’t know about Khabib’s injury leading up to the fight. And it certainly didn’t show in the fight.

Khabib held his ground, out several leg kicks, and was able to shoot his takedowns.

“(He) never told anybody. Walking around. He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet,” White continued, adding that Khabib should be considered among the best to have ever fought.

“He’s the number one pound for pound fighter in the world. You seriously have to start putting him up there at GOAT (greatest of all time) status with whoever else you think is the GOAT.”


TRENDING > Fighters react to Khabib Nurmagomedov retirement following UFC 254


Related Video > Dana White says Khabib broke his foot prior to defeating Justin Gaethje

(Video courtesy of UFC)