UFC: You are a champion, Sheikh Hamdan hails Khabib

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on October 26, 2020
Sheikh Hamdan with UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov. (Twitter)

Sheikh Hamdan shared pictures of him meeting Khabib on his official Instagram account

Tributes continue to pour in for Khabib Nurmagomedov, the unbeaten 29-0 UFC champion, who announced his retirement after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island on Sunday.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, shared pictures of him meeting Khabib on his official Instagram account.

“A champion, both in and out the octagon,” Sheikh Hamdan wrote, sharing pictures captioned with an emoji of an eagle – a nickname for Khabib.

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A champion, both in and out the octagon.

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A champion, both in and out the octagon.

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The pictures were taken at Dubai’s Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Sports Complex, where Khabib had trained for what was eventually his last bout.

After his triangle choke submission victory over Justin, Khabib said he cannot return to the octagon for another fight without his father and mentor Abdulmanap, who passed away in July.

While it was widely believed that the 32-year-old Khabib would retire only after achieving a 30-0 landmark, the Russian fighter revealed that it was his mother that didn’t want him to fight without his father.

Thus Khabib ended his career with a 29-0 record on Sunday.

After Khabib's last fight of his glittering career, Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor were among the high-profile sportsmen who wished Khabib.

“Congrats bro, your father is proud!” Juventus’ Portuguese superstar wrote on Instagram.

McGregor, Khabib’s long-time UFC rival, also paid a glowing tribute to the Russian.

“Good performance Team Khabib. I will carry on. Respect and condolences on your father again also. To you and family. Yours sincerely, The McGregors,” Conor tweeted.

Georges St-Pierre, one of the greatest fighters in history, said: “Congratulations to Team Khabib for his amazing performance last night and a career as perfect as you can get as an athlete!”

UFC legend Daniel Cormier, who was at the UFC 254, also congratulated Khabib on an incredible career.

“Congratulations to the greatest champion in UFC history. What a career, we are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with you my brother. 29-0 undefeated and undisputed,” Cormier said.

UFC president Dana White nailed it once again and declared: “You accomplished everything you set out to do. You are the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world and you truly are the G.O.A.T of the sport.”

The Khabib victory ended the epic series of UFC fights at the Flash Forum on Yas Island on Sunday.

But the UFC bandwagon is expected to return again in January to Abu Dhabi – the new fight capital of the world.


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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