UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said on Monday that his father is in critical condition in a Russian hospital following heart surgery due to complications from a previous ailment and the coronavirus. Khabib also noted that he has more than 20 people from his family who have gotten sick and/or died as a result of contracting COVID-19.
His father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, fell ill and was hospitalized in April with a diagnosis of pneumonia and flu-like symptoms. His recent heart surgery follows another heart surgery which took place about a year ago, according to Khabib.
With all that has befallen his father and family, Khabib posted a video on Instagram to explain the situation.
“In my personal case, I’ve had more than 20 people sick from my family,” Nurmagomedov said in comments translated by ESPN. “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.”
In addition to providing an update on his father’s condition, Khabib also urged others to stay at home and self-isolate. He encouraged his fellow Muslims, who are currently observing Ramadan, to not hold the usual end of holiday party and to not go to any such celebrations.
“Our learned Islamic scholars are telling us, ‘Stay home, and do the holiday prayer,'” Nurmagomedov said. “‘Don’t have guests. Don’t go yourselves as guests.’ It is a very difficult situation.”
Khabib plans to fight Justin Gaethje in September
Khabib had been slated to defend his belt against Tony Ferguson in the UFC 249 main event on April 18 in Brooklyn, N.Y. But confusion and complications from the global coronavirus pandemic forced the UFC to change plans.
UFC president Dana White eventually shifted UFC 249 to May 9 in Jacksonville, where late replacement Justin Gaethje defeated Ferguson for the interim UFC lightweight title, earning a shot at Khabib.
Despite the complications with Abdulmanap, Khabib has been in contact with White and plans to face Gaethje in a lightweight unification bout in September.
Dana White: Khabib vs Justin Gaethje in September
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