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Khabib’s cousin and training partner Umar Nurmagomedov off UFC 254 with staph infection


Umar Nurmagomedov is out of his fight against Sergey Morozov at UFC 254 on Oct. 24, 2020.

It’s very important for us to note early on in this story that this is Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin and training partner, not Khabib. Khabib is fine. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 is on.

In these uncertain times, it’s also important to note that Umar’s removal from the card had nothing to do with COVID-19. Multiple sources cite an illness related to staph infection as the reason for the removal. Umar shared this picture of the nasty staph mark on his Instagram:

Instagram/Umar Nurmagomedov

And Khabib shared an update on his social media account, saying, “In the last few days, Umar has been in a hotel with a high fever, which was caused by a staphylococcal infection. But despite this, he and our entire team were determined that he would perform on October 24th. This morning, before our flight to Abu Dhabi, he got worse and was hospitalized in Dubai. Get well brother, so it was meant to be.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team have been training in Dubai leading up to their big event at UFC 254. Originally, four members were supposed to compete this weekend, but now the only man left standing is Khabib. Indeed, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, and now Umar Nurmagomedov have all been scratched from the card.

But who knows. These days UFC is quick to pull the trigger and turn around fighters to fill holes. Perhaps Said Nurmagomedov (who shares Khabib’s family name but isn’t a direct relative) can come and add some more Nurmagomedov goodness to UFC 254 after his 51-second knockout win at UFC Fight Island 6? Just to put a little more padding between any dark curse and the Khabib vs. Gaethje main event.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 254: “Khabib vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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