Undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov faces the biggest challenge of his life against Justin Gaethje in the headliner of UFC 254. That's not just because Justin Gaethje is one of the most lethal competitors that "The Eagle" has ever faced but also because this is the first time Khabib Nurmagomedov spent a full training camp without the presence of his father and coach Abdulmanap who unfortunately passed away earlier this year due to complications stemming from COVID-19.
Abdulmanap trained Khabib throughout his career and was not just a father but a coach and teacher to him, and it will be emotionally very challenging for the Russian fighter to step inside the Octagon without the presence of Abdulmanap at his corner. However, the champion that he is, this will only motivate Khabib Nurmagomedov to train harder and make his late father proud whenever he steps inside the cage to fight.
BT Sport recently paid a tribute to Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov by sharing a heartwarming video that shows every major moment from Khabib's career and how his father was always with him through the different stages of his career. The animated video shows Khabib Nurmagomedov training with his father in the mountains of Dagestan. It also shows Abdulmanap couldn't accompany Khabib Nurmagomedov to the United States to join UFC as he faced problems with his American visa.
In a recent interview with BT Sport, the champ reacted to the tribute, saying that he was touched to see the video. Khabib said that it brought back some of the best memories of his life, of training with his father and finally having him at his corner in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242 last year when Khabib beat Dustin Poirier to retain his lightweight title.
The tribute captured the moment when Khabib Nurmagomedov hugs his father after the Poirier fight and hands him the title, in gratitude for everything he's done for him.Published 21 Oct 2020, 19:35 IST