UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov on Wednesday paid tribute to his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, with a passage from the Quran three weeks after the MMA coach’s death from complications due to COVID-19.
In a post on his official Instagram page, the 31-year-old Nurmagomedov cited a Quran chapter on honoring and respecting one’s parents in his first public statement since his father’s passing.
The UFC champ added a message for Abdulmanap.
“I will miss you Father,” he wrote (via RT Sport). “You were father, friend, brother and coach all rolled into one. You taught me almost everything that I can, I hope you were pleased with me.”
The UFC champ posted messages of support as his father fought to recover after being hospitalized in Moscow. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov briefly showed signs of recovery after being placed in a medically induced coma, but also suffered serious damage to his kidneys and heart as the result of the virus. He died at age 57 as the result of irreversible brain trauma caused by a stroke, according to officials.
In a message prior to his father’s death, Khabib Nurmagomedov implored the public to take COVID-19 seriously and said over 20 of his relatives had been infected by COVID-19.
Former two-division UFC champ Daniel Cormier on Monday doubted whether Nurmagomedov, his longtime teammate at American Kickboxing Academy, will be able to return this year.
“He’s going to have to muster up a lot of strength for an already strong person to go out there and do it,” Cormier said on ESPN.com. “And if he does, I just don’t know how long he’ll be around.”
The lightweight champ’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told TMZ that the fight should happen before the end of the year.
“At the end of the day, Khabib’s father has a legacy he wanted Khabib to accomplish,” the manager said.