Interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje has sent kind words Khabib Nurmagomedov’s way during this difficult time.
Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap, passed away at the age of 57. Abdulmanap couldn’t recover from complications from COVID-19. Two of Nurmagomedov’s training partners have pulled out of UFC Fight Island following Abdulmanap’s passing.
Justin Gaethje Has Kind Words For Khabib Nurmagomedov
Gaethje took to his Twitter account to give his reaction to the passing of Khabib’s father. “The Highlight” had a warm message for “The Eagle.”
“So heartbreaking to hear this news of the Legend Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. I’m very sorry @TeamKhabib. Your dad passed with a heart full of pride knowing you will carry on his legacy.”
Khabib had plans to return to action as soon as July. The lightweight champion is due to face Gaethje in a lightweight title unification bout. Those plans were pushed back to September as the status of Abdulmanap’s health became clear before his passing. Time will tell if Khabib will indeed be prepared mentally and emotionally once September rolls along.
The last time Khabib stepped inside the Octagon was back in Sept. 2019. He submitted Dustin Poirier to successfully defend his UFC lightweight gold for the second time. The bout took place in Abu Dhabi and headlined UFC 242.
Gaethje earned the interim UFC lightweight championship by defeating Tony Ferguson back in May. “The Highlight” handed “El Cucuy” his first loss since May 2012 via fifth-round TKO. Gaethje’s interim title win snapped Ferguson’s 12-fight winning streak.
MMA News will keep you up to speed on the latest updates regarding the UFC’s plans for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje as they become available. For now, the number one priority is the mourning process for Khabib and his family during this difficult time. We at MMA News send our condolences to the family and friends of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.