Ahead of UFC 254, a new animated video has been released which captures the life journey of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov with his father Abdulmanap by his side.
Khabib Nurmagomedov lost his father in July earlier this year after complications caused due to Covid-19. His father had previously undergone heart surgery as well and eventually lost his battle with the illness.
Khabib Nurmagomedov was understandably left devastated but declared his willingness to fulfill his late father’s wishes and reach 30-0 in his professional Mixed Martial Arts career.
The nearly two-minute video starts with a young Khabib Nurmagomedov running up a hill in Dagestan with his father by his side. It then shows Khabib growing up while wrestling a bear, a nod to a viral clip of a young Khabib wrestling a bear. It then cuts to Khabib’s MMA debut and his early MMA career with his father cornering him.
The second part of the video shows Khabib being granted a UFC contract but his father unable to travel with him due to visa problems. Finally, his father corners him in his championship fight against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi. A dejected Khabib is shown in the gym after his father’s demise but he soon gets up and runs atop the same mountain as at the beginning of the video. The video culminates with Khabib fist-bumping Justin Gaethje in the Octagon at UFC 254.
Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his UFC Lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254
Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on Justin Gaethje in his UFC Title defence at UFC 254 in what many believe will be his biggest challenge.
Justin gets the title shot against Khabib on the back of a crushing win against former Interim champion Tony Ferguson earlier in the year.
While the emotional video beautifully encapsulates Khabib’s bond with his late father and shows his journey as a child to a UFC champion, it is also a good promotional tool to further amp up the hype around Gaethje-Nurmagomedov fight which is arguably the most anticipated encounter of the year.
Quite a few UFC fighters and MMA media personnel have reacted to the video and we have some of the best reactions here for you.