Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father – who doubled as his coach – has passed away at the age of 57 following a long battle with Covid-19.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was struck down with coronavirus in April and placed in an induced coma.
His health then appeared to improve and he was woken and became more responsive as his son issued a positive update.
But Nurmagomedov Sr’s condition then deteriorated and he was flown to a military hospital in the Russian capital of Moscow.
He then suffered a heart attack and required bypass surgery before being placed in a coma for a second time.
Chechen Republic leader and family friend Ramzan Kadyrov confirmed on Friday that Nurmagomedov had passed away.
When his dad first fell ill, Nurmagomedov Jr revealed his extended family had been impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
“In my personal case, I’ve had more than 20 people sick from my family,” he said.
“More than 20 people were lying in the ICUs. And many of them are no longer among us. Many acquaintances have died, many parents of my relatives. Everybody is having a hard time dealing with it.
“There is a lot written on the internet about my father. My father, right now, is located in a hospital. He is in critical condition as a result of this virus.
“It impacted his heart because last year he had a surgery there, and right now, they did another surgery. He is in a very difficult situation, very difficult. We are asking Allah that he returns him to us.
“Our learned Islamic scholars are telling us, ‘Stay home, and do the holiday prayer. Don’t have guests. Don’t go yourselves as guests.’ It is a very difficult situation.”
Nurmagomedov Sr’s condition appeared to be improving in recent weeks when his son’s manager said: “Khabib is very strong, his family is very strong and his father is very strong.
“He’s improving. He opened his eyes, responding a little bit. Good sign. Allah is in control.
“We have faith he will be better, but at the end of the day, it’s completely up to his health whether it progresses or not.
“But he’s progressing, and we’re very happy about this.”
And Nurmagomedov Jr’s primary coach Javier Mendez added: “Three days ago, Khabib left a message that his father’s condition is improving, he is recovering.
“And then we talked with one common acquaintance. He said that Abdulmanap was no longer ill with the coronavirus. He had complications from heart surgery.”
But having suffered a relapse, the elder Nurmagomedov’s condition worsened and he passed away.
His son has not fought since he defended his UFC lightweight world title against Dustin Poirier last September and is due to return against Justin Gaethje in two months’ time.
Due to visa issues, Nurmagomedov’s father was only able to corner him once in the UFC, for his win over Poirier in Abu Dhabi last year.