Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 2 December 2020

Khabib Nurmagomedov confirms father in 'critical condition' with coronavirus: 'He is in a very difficult situation'

The Russian said his father was one of a significant number of his family who have recently been sick

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has confirmed his father is in critical condition because of the coronavirus.

The Russian, speaking on social media late on Monday, said his father was one of a significant number of his family who have recently been sick, as he urged people around the world to follow medical advice to combat the pandemic.

Reports in Russia last week claimed Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, 57, was flown to hospital in Moscow from Dagestan following complications from a previous issue.

In a post in his native Russia, Khabib Nurmagomedov wrote: "There is a lot written on the internet about my father. My father, right now, is located in a hospital. He is in critical condition as a result of this virus.

“It impacted his heart because last year he had a surgery there, and right now, they did another surgery. He is in a very difficult situation - very difficult. We are asking Allah that he returns him to us.

"In my personal case, I've had more than 20 people sick from my family. More than 20 people were lying in the ICUs. And many of them are no longer among us. Many acquaintances have died, many parents of my relatives. Everybody is having a hard time dealing with it.”

The sport has rallied around the Nurmagomedov family since the news broke last week, with UFC president Dana White and lightweight rivals Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson among those to offer support.

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is a respected figure within mixed martial arts (MMA), and has served as his son’s coach as he became one of the biggest draws in UFC.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, currently in Russia observing Ramadan, used his social media to also call for fellow Muslims to mark the end of the holy month by not having traditional gatherings.

"Our learned Islamic scholars are telling us, 'Stay home, and do the holiday prayer. Don't have guests. Don't go yourselves as guests.'” Nurmagomedov said. “It is a very difficult situation."

The undefeated Nurmagomedov, who boasts a 28-0 record in MMA, is expected to make his comeback to the octagon in September, although it remains unclear if his father’s current ill-health will impact that.

Nurmagomedov last fought last September, at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, and had been slated to defend his belt against long-term foe Ferguson last month. However, he was forced to withdraw from the bout because of travel restrictions implemented by Russia amid the coronavirus.

Justin Gaethje, Nurmagomedov's replacement, went on to defeat Ferguson for the interim belt at last week's remodelled UFC 249.

Updated: May 19, 2020 10:07 AM

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