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Khabib Nurmagomedov launches tournament for late father

Khabib Nurmagomedov and his father Abdulmanap
Khabib Nurmagomedov and his father Abdulmanap
ANALYST
Modified 08 Sep 2020, 03:18 IST
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In an impassioned move the UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov is honoring his late father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the way he knows best. By launching an MMA tournament. 

The event scheduled officially this year, will go down on September 9th. Khabib Nurmagomedov said that from here on out, it will be an annual tournament, the date will be the only thing that changes. But it will always be in the late summer or early fall. 

Nurmagomedov said he hopes to have high-level fighters come to be part of it, as well as all the local Dagestani and Russian talent. The event will be run by the organization, Fight Nights Global. And this year's event will happen in the Irina Viner-Usmanova Gymnastics Palace in Moscow. 

So this had obviously been in the works since the untimely passing of his father due to COVID-19 back on July 3rd. His death rocked the MMA world, and especially all the talent he was training at EaglesMMA. 

If not for Khabib Nurmagomedov has a fight coming up quickly against Justin Gaethje on October 24th, one can assume that he'd be part of it as well. But the undefeated champion did announce that two fights will happen. He said his brother Usman will fight, and the card will be headlined by Vladimir Mineev and Dauren Ermekov. 

Mineev is the 30-year-old middleweight champion of Fight Nights Global, while Ermekov holds the title for Gorilla Fighting Championship. Mineev is on a 2 fight win streak, but if not for a split draw he'd be riding a six-fight one. His 11 finishes out of his 13 wins might get him an invite to The Dana White Contender Series soon. By the way 9 of those finishes came in the opening round. The heavy power throwing fighter has picked up 8 KO's. 

As a matter of fact, this can be with Khabib Nurmagomedov's help and watchful eye, a faster launching pad to not only the UFC, but to Bellator, ONE Championship, and LFA. In essence, bringing American eyes to a lot less known talent. Dauren Ermekov is 14-4. He's on a five-fight win streak and the Kazakhstan native has picked up 3 unanimous decision wins during that streak. 

It's a very safe bet that Khabib Nurmagomedov will reach out to some friends Stateside to partake in future events. Although this, much like Chael Sonnen's Submission Underground, may be a small acceptable loophole in exclusive fight contracts. 

Published 08 Sep 2020, 03:18 IST
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