Conor McGregor has wished Khabib Nurmagomedov a happy retirement – while giving credit for his competitor ‘s success.
Nurmagomedov announced he was hanging up his gloves in October last year but did not confirm his decision last night.
His new lightweight title will be empty on the line on May 15 when Michael Chandler takes over Charles Oliveira.
And McGregor, who was choked by Nurmagomedov in 2018, is sending a message to the Dagestani.
He said: “Happy retirement baby, smell ya later. Don’t forget who came into the game and did you. Just from my big Irish balls.
“Remember people, if you hate cutting weight so much, you just have to move up a split. God bless.”
Nurmagomedov, his last fight in October that signaled Justin Gaethje to retain his title, met with UFC president Dana White this week.
And he said: “It was a great dinner with some great people. Dana White, many thanks to UFC’s brother and the whole team for the opportunity to prove myself, you yourself have changed a lot of lives forever because of this sport.
“Bold – I will never forget your opinion of me, my father did not forget and my sons will remember you. Today there was a real conversation between real men.
“Thanks also to the entire team, pushing partners and all the fans. I hope you accept my decision and understand me.”
White said, “It’s 29-0. He’s officially retired”, along with the ‘100’ emoji.
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The UFC president said: “It was amazing to see you work; thanks for everything and enjoy anything next to my friend.”
McGregor is currently negotiating with the UFC over a trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier.
The Irishman was stopped by his rival in their next round in January when Poirier dropped their league after losing in 2014.
Poirier was expected to be on the front line for a shot at the blank title but instead has opted for the more winning fight with McGregor.
The winner of their third installment is likely to face the winner of the May title fight.