Khabib Nurmagomedov's 'steel chin' was on show vs Justin Gaethje at UFC 254


Khabib Nurmagomedov retired from UFC unbeaten – thanks in no small part to his steel chin. 

A clip from his final fight against Justin Gaethje last October shows the Russian withstanding a brutal-looking left hook from the American, without ever being knocked off his stride. 

Khabib went on to win the lightweight championship unification fight in the second round on a technical submission via triangle choke hold, before announcing his immediate retirement in the post-fight interview. 

He said: “Today I want to say it was my last fight. No way I'm gonna come here without my father. It was first time after what happened with my father (his death).

"When UFC called me with Justin, I talked with my mother for three days. She doesn't want me to go fight without my father, but I promised her it's gonna be my last fight. And if I give my word, I have to follow this." 


Khabib’s father Abdulmanap died in July 2020 with complications caused by COVID-19 following heart surgery. He was placed in a medically-induced coma in May. 

Khabib's Second-Best Asset

Twitter user @Critical_Damage predicted neither Khabib’s protege Islam Makhachev, nor current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, could withstand the American's attack that night, before another user labelled Khabib's chin as his 'second greatest attribute.' 

He tweeted: “Oliveira and Makhachev both get slept cold from those shots by Gaethje. Not everyone has a steel chin like Nurmagomedov.

"People see someone who can grapple/wrestle and think everyone can replicate what Khabib did.” 

Nurmagomedov’s 29-0 record saw him defeat the likes of household names Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje. 

Despite UFC president Dana White’s attempts to keep him active, he eventually accepted his retirement and decision to vacate his title in March this year. 

Khabib is now working as a promoter in his home country after buying the Gorilla Fighting Championship for $1 million and renaming it the Eagle Fighting Championship.

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