Khabib Nurmagomedov has returned to training following the death of his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov’s return to the Octagon still remains in question following the death of his father and long-time coach on July 3, but the UFC lightweight champion is taking steps to get back to doing what he does best.
On social media, photos surfaced of the Dagestani fighter sparring in a ring with gloves and shin pads. This is the first time the lightweight champion has been spotted working out since the tragic news earlier this month.
— Youcef🥊🥋 (@yfab_mma) July 26, 2020
Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap, died at the age of 57 due to complications stemming from COVID-19.
Nurmagomedov reacted to the tragic news of his passing in a heartfelt social media post.
“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], ‘uff,’ and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.’”
Since Abdulmanap’s passing, there is a lot of speculation over what is in store for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s future. The most likely next step is a fight with interim lightweight titleholder, Justin Gaethje. The 155-pound fighters, who are both represented by Dominance MMA, were expected to fight at UFC 253 in September but were taken off the card and replaced by a middleweight title bout between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa.
UFC President Dana White is also laying off the pressure and doesn’t seem to expect Khabib Nurmagomedov to fight any time soon.
Nurmagomedov’s teammate Daniel Cormier agrees with Dana White that it is unlikely we will see the Nurmagomedov fight for the rest of the year.
“I don’t think he’s fighting this year, honestly,” Cormier said via MMA Junkie. “And it’s going to take a lot of strength from a very strong man for Khabib to be back in the octagon, ever. I just know what Abdulmanap meant to him, and I know that this was their journey together. I hope he fights, but I don’t know … And if he does, I just don’t know how long he’ll be around. Maybe he fights and honors his father with another massive and unbelievable performance.”
What do you think is next for Khabib Nurmagomedov?