July 3, 2020, was a sad day in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world when it was announced that Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had died of COVID-19 complications.
Abdulmanap is best known as the father and trainer of UFC Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but he’s much more than that. He was one of the most important and positive figures in the Caucasus combat sports scene, helping to raise the level of participation and training in his home country of Dagestan to a point where it has become a global powerhouse in MMA.
On Oct. 24, 2020, his son Khabib defends his UFC title for the third time. A victory will put him at 29-0, one away from the 30-0 record his father had pinpointed as a career goal. It’s tragic that Abdulmanap won’t be there to support him, but we’re sure he’ll be there in spirit. To commemorate Abdulmanap’s passing, UFC’s UK broadcaster BT Sports has created a heartwarming cartoon video highlighting the special relationship between him and his son.
Included in the video: the hill above Khabib’s village that he used to run up every day for training. A reference to the infamous bear wrestling video, which showed a young Khabib wrestling a brown Dagestani bear.
Khabib would later return for a little rematch once he was all grown up. Abdulmanap’s issues getting a United States visa to travel to America to corner his son for his UFC fights. And finally, Abdulmanap getting to coach his son for his fight against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242. That was Sep. 2019, the last time Khabib has been able to compete.
Just watch out, this video may cause a little bit of wet eye. I may be crying a bit right now. Just feel the feels, guys and girls. It’s okay ...
Remember that MMAmania.com 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.