Khabib Nurmagomedov is going to be left alone for a while says, Dana White. He is in a very delicate frame of mind and the UFC is in no rush.
The current UFC lightweight champ has a lot on his plate right now. Khabib Nurmagomedov lost his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov on the 3rd of July, after facing severe complications stemming from a COVID-19 infection.
Abdulmanap and Khabib didn’t only share a father-son relationship, but also that of a mentor and student. Coached and trained by his father, Khabib and many great fighters origination from Dagestan and various parts of Russian owe their success to Abdulmanap. And this came as a huge loss to Khabib.
Originally scheduled to take on Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 Khabib was unable to make that fight due to travel restrictions. With the ongoing global pandemic, travel restrictions and safety guidelines came in the way of this fight.
Stepping in to replace Nurmagoumedov and eventually go on to beat Tony Ferguson was Justin Gaethje. In a 5 round dominating display, Gaethje won the interim lightweight champ’s position. Targeting a return in the second half of this year, Khabib and Gaethje were supposed to meet for a unification bout. A bout that would declare one of them the undisputed UFC lightweight champion.
But the tragic passing away of Nurmagomedov’s father put this on hold as well. The UFC and its president aren’t going to rush the champ back into the octagon. They understand the delicacy of the situation and are willing to give Khabib all the time he needs. They aren’t going to add more to his already full plate.
Speaking at an interview in the build-up to UFC 251, Dana White said, “We feel horrible for Khabib and how much he loves his father and how close they were. [We’re] just giving him time to mourn and do whatever he needs to do. We’re not bothering him at all right now. We’re just leaving him alone.”
Understanding the gravity of the situation the UFC will not force Khabib Nurmagomedov back into the octagon. The entire MMA community has sent in their support at this difficult and has put up a united from to help him through this difficult time.
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