Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 14 July 2020

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father hospitalised because of suspected pneumonia, according to report

It is not confirmed whether Nurmagomedov senior has contracted Covid-19

Khabib Nurmagomedov and his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in Moscow in 2018. AFP
Khabib Nurmagomedov and his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in Moscow in 2018. AFP

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father has reportedly been taken to hospital because of suspected pneumonia, although it is understood he hasn’t contracted Covid-19.

The news emerged on Saturday when Ramazan Rabadanov, a Dagestani sports reporter who knows Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, confirmed the 57-year-old had been taken to hospital. Rabadanov later said: “Abdulmanap is in Makhachkala, in the Second City Hospital. He got sick in the mountains.

"He walked for two days – the brothers [his sons] barely persuaded [him] to go to the hospital. While coronavirus is not confirmed, they say the flu. No one is allowed to visit him. The world champion Shamil Zavurov also fell ill. They say there are other sick athletes.”

Abdulmanap has played an integral role in his son’s rise to the top of the UFC as his long-standing trainer. Khabib Nurmagomedov is the undisputed lightweight champion, unbeaten in all of his 28 professional mixed martial arts bouts.

Khabib had been slated last weekend to defend his title for a third time, at UFC 249, but had to withdraw from his much-anticipated clash with Tony Ferguson since he was stuck in Russia amid the coronavirus crisis. Ferguson, the No 1-ranked challenger, will take on Justin Gaethje on May 9 for the interim belt instead.

Nurmagomedov, who last fought in September at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, is expected to return to the octagon after the summer.

On Saturday, UFC president Dana White told ESPN the Russian would fight again in September or October.

“The Ferguson v Gaethje fight is one of the most violent fights you will see – I can guarantee that,” he said.

“This fight is going to be incredible. The winner will fight Khabib for the title. This is for the interim. One hundred per cent [the winner fights Khabib].”

Updated: April 26, 2020 03:36 PM

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