UFC president Dana White believes lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is done for good.
Nurmagomedov retained his 155-pound championship at UFC 254 on Saturday, submitting Justin Gaethje in the second round. The undefeated fighter announced his surprise retirement after the victory.
Fighter retirements rarely seem to last forever, but White thinks Nurmagomedov's situation is different. "The Eagle" lost his father Abdulmanap in July and said he promised his mother this would be his last fight.
"When guys want to fight, they want to fight," White said at the postfight press conference, according to MMA Fighting. "If they don't want to fight, they don't want to fight. Let (Nurmagomedov) take some time off. Let him heal - not physically, but emotionally heal, with what he's going through from losing his father.
"We're all lucky we got to see what we saw tonight."
Nurmagomedov moved to 29-0 and defended his title for the third time with the victory over Gaethje, who entered the bout as the interim lightweight champion.
White called Nurmagomedov "one of the toughest human beings on the planet" and "the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world." White said Nurmagomedov should also be in the conversation for greatest fighter of all time.