UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on Monday said the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on his family, hospitalizing his father and sickening more than 20 of his relatives.
During an Instagram live chat, Nurmagomedov said his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, remains in “very serious condition” after suffering heart complications as a result of the virus, per a report from RT.
“This virus has very seriously affected his heart, since he had a heart operation a year ago,” according to the Russian state-run media outlet’s translation of the UFC champ, who remains in Dagestan more than one month after sheltering there as travel restrictions scuttled a title fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.
Khabib Nurmagomedov said his father recently underwent another surgery and is in a “very difficult” situation. He said the virus’ effects on his people and his country have been severe and warned his followers not to underestimate the pandemic.
“Many people I know have died, the parents of people close to me,” he said. “This virus has affected everyone. This virus doesn’t ask what your surname or name is, this virus doesn’t ask where you work, if you are rich or poor. Everyone has gotten ill. We can only overcome this together.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, declined comment on the RT report.
Other reports from Russian-language outlets, detailed by BloodyElbow.com, reported that Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had awoken from a medically-induced coma that prompted an outpouring of support from the MMA community, including the UFC champ’s biggest rival, Conor McGregor. A friend of the Nurmagomedov family told TASS.ru that Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov suffered a stroke before he was put into a coma.
The elder Nurmagomedov initially was diagnosed with pneumonia. He later rejected attempts from family members to receive a coronavirus test. But as his condition worsened, he was taken to a military hospital in Moscow.
Russia has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and recently rose to No. 2 in number of confirmed cases. According to CNN, 142,824 of the country’s 281,752 confirmed cases are in Moscow. The country’s official death toll stands at 2,631.
Khabib Nurmagomedov recently signaled his willingness to unify the title in July against newly minted interim champ Justin Gaethje, who stopped Ferguson at UFC 249 to cut the lightweight title line. But Gaethje later balked at a quick turnaround, and UFC President Dana White said September is the likely timeline for the unifier.