Khabib hasn’t gone public with any statement regarding his father’s health, but the UFC lightweight champion is definitely reeling from the situation.
That’s according to UFC President Dana White, who said he spoke to Nurmagomedov by phone on Wednesday after seeing news in the Russian media that his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had been life flighted to a Moscow hospital where he was reportedly in a coma.
“Talked to Khabib yesterday, he didn’t even tell me [about his father],” White revealed during the post-fight press conference after UFC Jacksonville on Wednesday. “So I guess he was keeping this quiet and wasn’t talking about it.
“I talked to him today after I found out. He’s obviously busted up but he’s a very proud guy and likes to act like a man and he’s like ‘you know how much I love my dad.’ This is a tough one.”
According to a report from RT Sport on Thursday, Abdulmanap has regained consciousness. Neither Nurmagomedov nor his team have issued a statement regarding the private situation.
Despite the turmoil surrounding his father’s health, White said Nurmagomedov had already previously committed to a timeline for his next fight when they spoke on Tuesday.
The undefeated Russian is expected to face new interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje later this year after he vanquished Tony Ferguson by fifth-round TKO in the UFC 249 main event this past weekend.
White says the conversations regarding Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje are moving rather quickly because contracts could be issued at any time now.
“So yesterday when I talked to [Khabib] — we were going to send out bout agreements yesterday,” White revealed. “There were a couple of weird things that happened yesterday and didn’t end up getting it done apparently.
“But we’re talking about doing Gaethje vs. Khabib in September. Cause I talked to Khabib yesterday and he said September, ‘I’m ready to go in September.’”
While it certainly seems like everything is set for Nurmagomedov and Gaethje to do battle in September, former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor inserted himself into the conversation with a Twitter rant aimed at both fighters earlier this week.
In the midst of that storm of messages, McGregor predicted his return for a title fight against Gaethje in July while also offering up the idea of Ferguson facing off with former interim champion Dustin Poirier later this year.
White obviously has other ideas.
“So we’re gonna do Khabib and Gaethje in September,” White said when responding to McGregor’s tweets. “Tony Ferguson, I’d like to see take some time off after that fight on Saturday. We’ll see what happens this summer with Conor.”