Khabib Nurmagomedov announces annual MMA tournament in memory of late father

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC 249
Photo via Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov's Instagram

UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov is launching an annual mixed martial arts tournament in memory of his late father and mentor, Abdulmanap.

Nurmagomedov revealed the details of this tournament in an interview with Match TV, announcing that the first iteration of the event will occur this year.

“This tournament will be annual, we have already planned it,” Nurmagomedov saud (via RT Sport). “Only the date will change. So every year at the end of summer or at the beginning of fall we will have this event every year. Other than that, there were no problems with the organization. The fighters wanted to fight, and promoters also were also interested in making the event. Most likely due to the fact that many events have been canceled because of coronavirus pandemic.

“So everything came about very well. I hope the tournament will be held at a high level.”

The first edition of this Nurmagomedov inspired tournament will be hosted by the Russian promotion Fight Nights Global and will be headlined by a fight between Vladimir Mineev and Dauren Ermekov. It will also feature an appearance from Usman Nurmagomedov, the lightweight champion’s cousin.

The event will emanate from the Irina Viner-Usmanova Gymnastics Palace in Moscow, Russia.

“I can highlight two fights from this event,” Nurmagomedov said. ”The first one is with my brother Usman. And the second one is the main event: a fight between two champions of their organizations (Fight Nights Global and GFC) – Vladimir Mineev versus Dauren Ermekov.

“I think Mineev will be the winner, but you can’t underestimate Ermekov,” Nurmagomedov concluded.

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov passed away earlier this year due to complications stemming from COVID-19. His death sent a shockwave through the MMA community, as he was not only the UFC lightweight champion’s father, but a mentor to a plethora of other high profile fighters out of Dagestan.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently scheduled to defend the UFC lightweight title against the division’s interim champion, Justin Gaethje, at UFC 254 on October 24 in Abu Dhabi.