Following the tragic loss of his father, the future was seeming uncertain for Khabib Nurmagomedov. However his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has provided some updates on what we might expect from the lightweight champ.
When news broke that Khabib’s father was in rough condition, and in the hospital with COVID-19, the entire community offered support. Although things seemed to be looking up at one point, this was would not last. In the end, Abdulmanap would fall to his symptoms, passing away at just 57 years of age.
Ali Abdelaziz Says Khabib’s Fighting This Year
Obviously this news is beyond tragic, and Khabib clearly has some difficult things to get through before anything else. That being said, fight fans have been wondering when, or even if, we might see Khabib fight again. However, speaking with TMZ, Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz explained that not only will Nurmagomedov fight again, but it will likely be before the end of the year.
“Khabib is not retiring,” Abdelaziz saild “He has some goals, he has some things he wants to accomplish. You will see him before the end of the year. Now him and Dana are talking, and I’m talking to the matchmakers and we’ll try to set a date. I’m sure Dana is going to let everybody know when Khabib is going to fight.”
“Khabib is a different breed too,” Abdelaziz continued. “Of course, he’s heartbroken. It’s his father, it’s his mentor, it’s his best friend, but at the end of the day, Khabib’s father had a legacy he wanted Khabib to accomplish. Khabib is a living legend and that’s where legend comes from. Legends come from adversity, from death, and from a lot of things. And that’s what Khabib does. He comes back from back surgery, from ACL surgery, from the death of his father. He’s gonna fight Justin Gaethje. They’re both going to fight, and they’re gonna put on a great display of martial arts, and we are the winners. The fans are the winners, the promotion are the winners. It’s gonna be a mega blockbuster fight card, for sure.”
So When Will Khabib Nurmagomedov Fight Again?
Before this unfortunate incident, the original plan was for Khabib to fight interim lightweight champ Justin Gaethje in Abu Dhabi, in September. Given everything that happened, there was some thought that this may not be the case anymore. Speaking in a recent interview, Dana White said that they are still looking at September, although October is a possibility now, too. They are looking at potentially hosting another Fight Island event with three title fights, and one of them would be Nurmagomedov vs Gaethje.
“Khabib will be the next. We’re talking about [middleweight champion] Israel Adesanya versus Paulo Costa, that fight happening. [Women’s strawweight champion] Weili Zhang versus Rose Namajunas is a possibility. All the massive, big fights with literally the champion versus the No 1 contender are all looking like Fight Island Abu Dhabi.”
Obviously the most important thing for Khabib Nurmagomedov is to make sure that he is ready to fight again. His father was important to him, not just in life but with his MMA career. But if he feels ready to go this fall, fans will be excited to see how he looks.