Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was hospitalized with the virus in May and later underwent heart surgery

By Georgia Slater
July 03, 2020 03:00 PM
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Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the father and coach of UFC reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, has died of coronavirus complications, the athlete's manager confirmed on Friday. He was 57.

The fighter's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN that Abdulmanap died in Moscow, where he had been hospitalized since May.

Abdulmanap was diagnosed with COVID-19 while in the hospital and later underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition which was exacerbated by the virus.

"We've lost our backbone," Abdelaziz told the outlet. "He was a father, coach, brother, an icon. Things will never be the same without him."

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In May, ESPN reported that Abdulmanap was placed into a medically induced coma. Earlier this month, manager Abdelaziz told the outlet that Khabib's father was "improving," having "opened his eyes" and "responding a little bit."

"Khabib is very strong, his family is very strong and his father is very strong," Abdelaziz said at the time.

The Russian fighter, 31, confirmed on social media in May that his father was in the hospital, noting that he was in critical condition.

On Monday, Khabib shared a picture of his father during a training session, with several people sending prayers of healing to Abdulmanap in the comments.

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According to ESPN, Khabib has previously credited his father for his success in the sport. The fighter currently holds the title for the longest active undefeated streak in MMA, according to CNN.

Several other stars in the sport shared condolences on social media after hearing of Abdulmanap's passing.

"So heartbreaking to hear this news of the Legend Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov," Interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje wrote on Twitter. "I’m very sorry @TeamKhabib You’re dad passed with a heart full of pride knowing you will carry on his legacy."

The coach of Khabib's rival, Conor McGregor, also spoke out about the tragic news.

"Very sorry to hear of the passing of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A genius of combat sports and absolute inspiration to so many up and coming fighters," Coach John Kavanagh wrote. "Sadly only entering his prime of coaching such a loss and tragedy. RIP and best wishes to his family during this difficult time."

McGregor also tweeted his condolences, writing, "The loss of a father, a coach, and a dedicated supporter of the sport. Condolences and rest in peace Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov."