UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov always held his father Abdulmanap in high regard. But with his primary coach and mentor now gone, teammate Daniel Cormier feels uncertain about “The Eagle’s” fighting career.
Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Tuesday, Cormier recalled a conversation with Khabib a few days before the 57-year-old Abdulmanap passed away due to complications from COVID-19.
“I talked to the champ — my champion, our champion, AKA’s champion — on Wednesday about everything,” Cormier said. “And he was having difficulties dealing with all this. The training makes him feel better, but it would be very difficult for the champ to fight under those circumstances.
“Now, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I really don’t. It’s such a big part of who he is. I don’t know what he’s gonna be able to do without his dad.”
Khabib’s next assignment is supposed to be his third title defense against interim champion Justin Gaethje in September.
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