Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was one of those who praised Khabib Nurmagomedov after the UFC lightweight champion announced his retirement after beating Justin Gaethje.

Khabib burst into tears after signing interim champion Gaethje in the second round of his main competition at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. This marked the Dagestani star’s first appearance in the octagon since his father and coach Abdulmanap passed away in July due to complications from a coronavirus infection.

An emotional Khabib, who improved his perfect professional record to 29-0 with the win, said he had promised his family that the competition against Gaethje would be his last.



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The news sparked a massive outpouring of praise and respect on social media from MMA fans and beyond – including Portuguese soccer star Ronaldo.

“Congratulations, brother! Your father is proud of you,” wrote Juventus in a message on his Instagram stories and shared a TV picture of an overwhelmed Khabib immediately after his victory.

Khabib is a huge soccer fan and previously met Ronaldo. Before his fight with Gaethje, he also showed that he stayed in touch with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner as well as his football icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Before UFC 254, Ronaldo had given Khabib a tip for victory and on that occasion also called him “his brother”.



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In an interview with BT Sport ahead of UFC 254, Khabib said he plans to take time out afterwards to visit England and watch some Premier League games, while he was previously seen in the stands at games in his native Russia became as well as with people like the French champions PSG.

Now that he’s finished his stellar career in the cage, Khabib may have more time to indulge in his passion for the “beautiful game”.



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