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  • April 18, 2021

Exclusive: Khabib’s father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had tears in his eyes watching his son become UFC champion against Al Iaquinta in Brooklyn

 Exclusive: Khabib’s father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had tears in his eyes watching his son become UFC champion against Al Iaquinta in Brooklyn


Khabib Nurmagomedov finally fulfilled his life-long dream of becoming UFC lightweight champion on this very day back in 2018 against Al Iaquinta.

Yet the one individual who wanted to see ‘The Eagle’ hoist the gold belt aloft more than anyone was miles away in Russia.

‘Raging’ Al Iaquinta took the fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov on just 24 hours’ notice in Brooklyn

Getty Images – Getty

‘Raging’ Al Iaquinta took the fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov on just 24 hours’ notice in Brooklyn

‘The Eagle’ claimed a lopsided win, yet his father was not there to celebrate

Getty

‘The Eagle’ claimed a lopsided win, yet his father was not there to celebrate

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov raised his son in the mountains of Dagestan with the shared dream of achieving UFC championship status.

Having amassed a record of 16 wins and no losses, he made the move to the UFC and recorded a further nine wins before he was finally granted a title shot.

However, issues with his father’s visa meant Abdulmanap was forced to watch his son dominate Iaquinta at UFC 223 at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn thousands of miles from his home in Dagestan.

Footage obtained from We Love MMA shows the poignant moment when Khabib had the gold belt wrapped around his waist and proceeded to thank his father, who was close to tears.

Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap (right) always wanted his son to retire undefeated as the best fighter on the planet

Getty – Contributor

Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap (right) always wanted his son to retire undefeated as the best fighter on the planet

Khabib would defend his belt just six months later in Las Vegas against Conor McGregor at UFC 229, with the vitriol and anger surrounding the event blurring his incredible achievements somewhat.

Yet there was to be an event where Abdulmanap finally watched his son fight in the UFC in person, with the main event of UFC 242 pitting the lightweight great against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi.

‘The Eagle’ retained his belt yet again with his father in the front row and the two men finally shared a warm embrace in the aftermath of a fight. It was to be the last time they could celebrate in such a manner as Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov tragically lost his life in 2020 after a battle with COVID-19.

Yet having helped his son achieve his wildest dreams, his status as an MMA great is well assured.





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