Looking for a UFC fix during the holiday hiatus? Look no further than its recent Free Fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
For the first time since the Fourth of July, the UFC has an extended break with no live-action until its three-event stint on Fight Island, which begins on Jan. 16. Until then, however, the promotion is holding fans over to kick-off 2021, as they have rolled out a new installment of the Free Fight series on YouTube.
Fans now have the ability to relive Khabib Nurmagomedov’s recent title defense for a limited time only, as he submitted Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254. The aftermath, however, came out of left field, as the undefeated Nurmagomedov, on the verge of going 30-0, decided to abruptly retire from MMA.
The win came at 1:34 of the second-round, as Nurmagomedov secured a triangle choke to cap off a successful, yet emotional title defense. It was his first bout after the passing of his late father, mentor, and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
The event was the promotion’s last of a month-long slate of events from Abu Dhabi, as the UFC created a makeshift bubble, allowing them to hold events during the midst of the global pandemic without a live audience. Fight Island was utilized twice, hosting a total of six events with the remainder taking place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s immediate future remains uncertain
While Nurmagomedov is currently retired, a potential comeback is not out of the question. According to a recent episode of the NYup podcast, UFC president Dana White hinted at some news regarding the current state of the lightweight division.
“When I fly out [to Fight Island], Khabib’s gonna be there too, so I’m gonna meet with Khabib while I’m there,” White said. “In a perfect world, if Conor [McGregor] wins this fight, I would love to see the rematch with him and Khabib.”
Only time will tell if a deal can get reached, as 2021 is officially underway.
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