Conor McGregor has paid tribute to “father, coach and dedicated supporter” of UFC Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov after the father of Khabib Nurmagomedov died on Friday.
The father and former trainer of Russian star Khabib died at 57 after contracting coronavirus, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced.
“I've received sad news, friends, that Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has left this world,” Kadyrov wrote on Telegram messenger, saying he was expressing the condolences of the “whole Chechen people.”
The fighter's father was first hospitalised in April in his native North Caucasus region of Dagestan and was later transferred to a Moscow clinic.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, the 31-year-old UFC lightweight champion, in May urged people in Dagestan, one of the regions hardest hit by the pandemic, to be “disciplined” and “listen to our doctors.”
The devastating news sparked an outpouring of tributes around the UFC world - and McGregor was among those to send condolences.
“The loss of a father, a coach, and a dedicated supporter of the sport. Condolences and rest in peace Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov,” the Irishman tweeted.
The loss of a father, a coach, and a dedicated supporter of the sport. Condolences and rest in peace Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 3, 2020
McGregor’s classy response came just days after a nasty claim that Abdulmanap’s virus battle was a “cover up” so Khabib wouldn’t have to get back into the Octagon.
“A cover up to hide the lack of activity and the pulling out of fights and running away. Good luck but remember - Allah sees all,” McGregor wrote on social media in response to a sledge from Khabib’s cousin Abubakar.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov dies after virus battle
This week Khabib posted a picture of his tracksuited father at a training session on Instagram with the caption “Father”, as followers said they were praying for his recovery.
A week ago the fighter had given an interview to Russian television, saying that his father no longer had the virus but was still in intensive care with damage to his kidneys and heart.
He said he was visiting daily although his father was not able to speak to him.
The fighter was due to give a press conference on Saturday that has now been cancelled.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov trained numerous champions in judo and the Russian martial arts discipline sambo.
He began teaching his son fighting moves from the age of three, Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid reported.
In 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a televised meeting with Khabib Nurmagomedov and his father, saying that the fighter did not deserve harsh punishment for a post-fight brawl.
Deeply saddened to hear this news. My heart goes out to the ever-classy champion @TeamKhabib and his family. I’ll never forget that moment between father and son in the Octagon at UFC 242 last fall. 🙏🏼 https://t.co/ICDBq7C5zD— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) July 3, 2020
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov only cornered Khabib once during his son’s UFC stint.— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) July 3, 2020
That came last September at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.
It meant a lot for Khabib to have his dad in his corner that day.
I’m glad they were able to share that moment together. pic.twitter.com/46M2pTadyy