The father and trainer of UFC reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov recently lost his battle against coronavirus.
At the age of 57, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov succumbed to death after getting hospitalized due to COVID-19 in May 2020.
Khabib's manager confirmed the news on Friday and said that the patriarch died in Moscow, where he has been hospitalized. Abdulmanap underwent a heart surgery due to a pre-existing condition aggravated by the coronavirus.
"We've lost our backbone," manager Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN. "He was a father, coach, brother, an icon. Things will never be the same without him."
Abdulmanap's COVID-19 Battle
Khabib's father was placed into a medically induced coma in May due to the complications of COVID-19. Earlier in June, Abdelaziz confirmed that the patriarch's health condition was improving, considering that he could already open his eyes and lightly respond to commands.
Talking about how Khabib was dealing with the challenge concerning his father's health, Abdelaziz said that the fighter is doing well and managing to be healthy for his family.
"Khabib is very strong, his family is very strong, and his father is very strong," Abdelaziz said.
Last May, the 31-year-old Russian fighter shared the devastating news that his father was in critical condition in the hospital. He then encouraged his countrymen to stay at home to avoid spreading and contracting the novel virus.
On Monday, Khabib shared a photo of his father during a training session. Although he did not detail his father's condition at that time, most of his 20.6 million Instagram followers sent him words of encouragement and prayers of healing for his ill father.
Khabib, who currently holds the title for the longest active undefeated streak in MMA, previously credited his father for his sports career success.
But aside from Khabib's career, Abdulmanap was also instrumental in the careers of other athletes from the region, including UFC lightweight Islan Makhachev.
As of writing, Khabib has not made any statement to address the death of his father.
Condolences From The Star
Upon learning the sad news, several sports icons took to social media to share their condolences and respect to Khabib's father.
Interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje wrote on Twitter: "So heartbreaking to hear this news of the Legend Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. I'm very sorry @TeamKhabib You're dad passed with a heart full of pride knowing you will carry on his legacy."
Khabib's rival, Conor McGregor, also took to Twitter to pay respect.
"The loss of a father, a coach, and a dedicated supporter of the sport. Condolences and rest in peace Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov," McGregor wrote.
"Very sorry to hear of the passing of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A genius of combat sports and absolute inspiration to so many up and coming fighters. Sadly only entering his prime of coaching such a loss and tragedy. RIP and best wishes to his family during this difficult time," McGregor's coach John Kavanagh said.