Dubai: The UFC world has been rocked by the hospitalisation of world lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father and longtime trainer Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who is in a critical condition in a Moscow hospital.
According to the Russian news outlet RT, Abdulmanap, 57, is in the ICU where he remains a coma.
Conor McGregor, who has shared bad blood with Khabib after lost to the Russian in 2018, was quick to offer his rivals words of comfort, unbecoming of the aggressive Irishman.
McGregor touched many hearts with his message posted on his Twitter account: “Praying for the recovery of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A man responsible for more World champions, across multiple fighting disciplines, than we even know. A true martial genius! Very saddened upon hearing this news tonight. Praying for the Nurmagomedov family at this time …”
McGregor’s heartfelt tribute comes just days after he hit out at Khabib and called him a “scurrying, hiding rat”, suggesting that the Russian will back out of out of his title defence against the recently crowned interim UFC lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje.
UFC boss Dana White also took to Twitter to post a stirring message: “Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is a true martial artist who lives a life of pride, honour and respect. He instilled those same values in his son, world champion Khabib, at an early age and was always in his corner throughout his career. I know how close Khabib is with his father and I’m saddened to hear about his current state. My thoughts are with Abdulmanap and the Nurmagomedov family as he continues to fight.”
Abdulmanap has been battling health issues since April when he was a diagnosed with Pneumonia and was subsequently treated for the illness at his family home in Dagestan.
He was reported to have made a good recovery until the recent setback when his condition deteriorated and he was quickly flown on a special flight into the Russian capital for further treatment.
Abdulmanap has always had a very close relationship with Khabib, who he has shaped into a fine MMA athlete and helped him rise to the summit of the UFC’s lightweight division over which he presides with an unbeaten 28-0 record.
Last month, Khabib was set to defend his championship belt against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249, but instead left America and flew back to Russia, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Khabib even made an unsuccessful attempt to enter the UAE but was turned back at Abu Dhabi Airport following the country’s closure of all its borders to international travellers.
Khabib has remained silent and refrained from commenting on his father’s current illness.