Khabib Numagomedov was favored at UFC 254 today against Justin Gaethje, but the fight was still expected to be a close one. At least close on Khabib’s sliding scale.

Gaethje had seemed to take a leap as a fighter, pairing his striking and NCAA All-American wrestling background with an elevated level of composure, a mix he used to destroy Tony Ferguson back in May at UFC 249. Could the interim lightweight champion have a real shot against the undefeated full champ?

Well, no, not really. Khabib did what he always does: take his opponent down and finish him off.

He scored his first takedown (and the first of the fight) late in round 1:

And then, in the second round, he finished things off, putting Gaethje to sleep.

After, Khabib immediately announced his retirement, citing the loss of his father (who also served as his trainer) in July to complications from Covid-19.

The image of Khabib leaving his gloves in the ring is a lasting one. Assuming his retirement is real, he’ll go out as an undefeated and undisputed champion, and clearly one of the greats of all time. It’s a loss for fans and for the UFC, but what a career.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.