"I'm very happy", former world champion Whittaker said from the Octagon.
The 32-year-old Russian, who was fighting for the first time since the death of his father this summer, produced a superb display to finish UFC interim champion Gaethje with triangle-choke and retain his lightweight title.
And with his father and mentor no longer by his side, Nurmagomedov's mother wasn't eager for "The Eagle" to continue competing. And if I keep my word, I have to follow this.
Nurmagomedov then made a promise that his fight against Gaethje would be his last. After defeating Gaethje, Khabib now has a 29-0 career record which makes him easily one of the best to ever do it. It was my last fight here.
He went on to defend it three times, against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and, most recently, Gaethje. Cutelaba immediately protested, and the UFC quickly moved to rebook the fight.
"He is one of the toughest human beings on the planet and he's the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world and, seriously, you have to start putting him up there with GOAT [greatest of all time] status with whoever else you think is the GOAT", White said. I want to say thank you Dana, Fertita brothers.
Nurmagomedov won the lightweight title belt in April 2018 when he defeated Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision.
The UFC 254Fight of the Night honors went to prelim competitors Casey Kenney and Nathaniel Wood. He has two broken toes and a bone in his foot broken.