Cristiano Ronaldo leads stars from sporting world in tribute to Khabib Nurmagomedov after UFC legend’s SHOCK retirement as Juventus forward tells emotional Russian his late father ‘would be proud’
Khabib Nurmagomedov left viewers stunned on Saturday night after announcing his retirement from UFC, with sports stars rushing to pay tribute to the fighter.
The Russian submitted Justin Gaethje in the second round in Abu Dhabi, moving to 29-0 with an emphatic performance.
Nurmagomedov explained his decision to retire was due to his father’s death in May, with the 32-year-old unwilling to continue without his trainer and mentor.
Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his shock retirement from UFC on Saturday evening
The Russian beat Justin Gaethje with a second-round submission to end his career undefeated
Having watched the unbeaten fighter’s incredible rise, peaking when he mauled Conor McGregor in 2018, stars from across sport were quick to show their appreciation.
Cristiano Ronaldo led the tributes, writing on Instagram: ‘Congrats bro, your father is proud!’
Fellow footballer Daniel Sturridge, after claiming in a ‘few more dominant victories he’s the GOAT,’ the former Chelsea star wrote: ‘Damn, that last tweet aged terrible.
‘Happy retirement Khabib, wish you all the best in the future. #Legend.’
Former two-weight world champion Daniel Cormier added: ‘Congratulations to the greatest champion in UFC history.
Cristiano Ronaldo led the plaudits on Instagram having watched the spectacular performance
‘What a career, we are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with you my brother. 29-0 undefeated and undisputed.’
Jon Jones also chimed-in: ‘I want to congratulate Khabib for an outstanding career.
‘I know he made his father along with millions of fans around the world incredibly proud today. May God continue to bless him on his journey.’
UFC fight commentator Joe Rogan simply stated: ‘@khabib_nurmagomedov is THE GOAT.’
UFC middleweight Darren Till had an emotional response to the Russian great’s retirement
The Russians bitter rival Conor McGregor, who was desperate to rematch Nurmagomedov, also wrote a classy response.
‘Good performance @TeamKhabib.
‘I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors.’