Father of UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov placed in medically induced coma
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov after contracting COVID-19 following heart surgery
The father and original trainer of Khabib Nurmagomedov was placed in a medically induced coma in Moscow, the UFC lightweight champion's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN on Tuesday.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, 57, was transported via airlift from his native Dagestan earlier this month and underwent heart surgery. Khabib Nurmagomedov later confirmed that his father was also diagnosed with COVID-19.
"I can confirm Khabib's father is in a medically induced coma," Abdelaziz said. "Khabib has been in contact with [Russian president] Vladimir Putin over the last several days, and he has promised Khabib's father will receive the best medical treatment available.
"Khabib's No. 1 message to people around the world right now is to stay at home, to prevent the spread of coronavirus."
Nurmagomedov (28-0), 31, pulled out of a scheduled title defense against Tony Ferguson for UFC 249 because of travel restrictions and to protect the health of his family. He was originally training in the U.S. for the April 18 fight in Brooklyn, New York, before attempting to fly to Abu Dhabi — a potential replacement site after the pandemic broke out — but was denied entry at the United Arab Emirates after landing and instead flew back to Russia.
On Monday, Nurmagomedov addressed matters during an Instagram live video and explained that his father's heart surgery was the result of a previous ailment. The fighter also encouraged others to continue practicing self-isolation and social distancing.
"In my personal case, I've had more than 20 people sick from my family," Nurmagomedov said in comments translated by ESPN. "More than 20 people were lying in the ICUs. And many of them are no longer among us. Many acquaintances have died, many parents of my relatives. Everybody is having a hard time dealing with it."
A devout Muslim, Nurmagomedov is currently fasting through May 23 while observing Ramadan. He is expected to face current interim champion Justin Gaethje, who stopped Ferguson in the replacement UFC 249 main event on May 9, as early as August.