Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov penned a tribute to his late father Abdulmanap following his emotional UFC 254 win.
Nurmagomedov submitted Justin Gaethje in the second round of their UFC 254 main event in what was arguably the best performance he’s had his whole career. Immediately following the win, however, “The Eagle” made the shocking announcement that he would be retiring from MMA, citing his late father Abdulmanap not being with him as a reason.
Taking to social media following UFC 254, the former UFC lightweight champion penned a heartfelt tribute to his late father. Read what Nurmagomedov wrote on his Instagram.
When ALLAH with you, nobody can broke you, nobody Thanks Father for everything, you teach all my life, may ALLAH grant you the highest Paradise
Nurmagomedov’s father passed away in July due to complications from COVID-19. Abdulmanap was Khabib’s best friend, coach, and mentor, and losing him has obviously had a devastating impact on his career. In a way, it’s surprising that Nurmagomedov was able to dig deep and find it in himself to be able to make it to this fight with Gaethje, as many fighters understandably would have withdrawn from the bout due to the grief.
But Nurmagomedov showed just how strong mentally he is by making it through his training camp and then putting on an incredible showing against Gaethje. It was an outstanding performance by the former long-time champion, as he was able to hang with Gaethje on the feet before getting the fight to his wheelhouse on the ground where he got the finish. It is unfortunate that his father wasn’t there to see him get the win in person, but we all know that he was watching his son achieve greatness from above.
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