Khabib Nurmagomedov has always seen his father as a 'god-like' figure. And why wouldn't he do it as all his success inside the octagon all came under his father's tutelage.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov passed away aged 57 and Khabib Nurmagomedov will be devastated by this incident. The Eagle made it his mission to please his father at UFC 242 against Dustin Poirier.
Abdulmanap had been beside his son's corner for his last fight against Dustin Poirier, the only time he ever got to corner him in the UFC.
It sadly was also his last time and the knock-on effect of his death on Khabib Nurmagomedov could be tremendous.
Will Khabib Nurmagomedov be shaken mentally?
The pre-fight press conference of UFC 229 showed everyone the mindset Khabib Nurmagomedov has inside him. Despite much effort from Conor McGregor, The Eagle kept his emotions locked and sealed as he wanted to answer the jibes by The Notorious One inside the octagon.
The only time Khabib got angry was when McGregor invoked the name of his father, which led to some heated back and forth between them. Now, McGregor has never been one to empathize and this could become his calling card if UFC can make a rematch between them.
Khabib's situation now is also very similar to a certain someone named Mike Tyson. Tyson also had a revered 'father-figure' in his corner in Cus D' Amato who had adopted him after his mother's death.
Mike Tyson's peek-a-boo style of fighting was developed under Amato's tutelage as he molded him into the best boxer in the world. Amato never saw Tyson secure gold but his adopted son would never be the same without his guidance.
Tyson went pretty much out of control after Amato's death and his tale should serve as a precaution to someone like Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Khabib Nurmagomedov could retire as well
Josh Thompson, who has trained with Khabib Nurmagomedov for a long time, said on his podcast Weighing In that Khabib had been talking about retirement even before he won the belt. The Eagle has been training in combat sports for more than half of his life and it's understandable if he wants to go out like his idol, GSP.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has already earned enough throughout his career and he doesn't look like a sort of guy to run after money. With his dream fight against GSP unrealistic at best, 'The Eagle' has done everything he set out to do in his career as an MMA fighter.
This could be the time when Khabib Nurmagomedov decides enough is enough and goes on to spend more time with his family. Khabib Nurmagomedov could also decide to fight a couple more bouts but the possibility of us seeing him dominate the UFC Lightweight division for a decade might be too much to ask for him.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article belong to the writer and doesn't necessarily represent Sportskeeda's stand.Published 07 Jul 2020, 10:20 IST