On account of the passing of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s  father Abdulmanap earlier this month, there’s been a lot of discussion and debate about when or even if, the star will fight again. Well, recently his longtime friend and teammate Daniel Cormier  weighed-in on the situation, and he’s not certain the champ will return.
Cormier thinks it will be “awhile” before Khabib fights again
If you follow Nurmagomedov, you know that his father was also his mentor and coach, and that he passed away from COVID-19 complications several weeks ago. Due to the relationship Khabib had with his father, and because the undefeated fighter is set financially, speculation about his fighting future has been making the rounds.
Well, in a recent appearance on ESPN , Cormier relayed he thinks we will not see Khabib fight again in 2020. In fact, the former champ-champ didn’t close the door on the possibility Nurmagomedov doesn’t compete again (quotes via MMA Junkie ).
“I don’t think he’s fighting this year, honestly,” Cormier said. “And it’s gong to take a lot of strength from a very strong man for Khabib to be back in the octagon, ever.
I just know what Abdulmanap meant to him, and I know that this was their journey together.
“I knew right away that Khabib wasn’t going to (come back in September). … It’s going to be too difficult. It’s going to be too difficult.
Khabib is dealing with something that’s so difficult and so tough. And like we spoke a couple of weeks ago, him and his dad’s relationship is so much different.
He was everything to him, and now he’s gone, so it’s going to be awhile before we see Khabib.
“And I love my brother, and I hope he takes as much times as he needs because it’s just a different situation for Khabib and his dad as opposed to most people.
So don’t rush yourself back in there, take your time. So we don’t get Khabib in September. OK, we get (Israel Adesanya) vs. (Paulo Costa), which is a phenomenal fight.
You know what else I love? Dana White saying, ‘Take as much time as you want,’ because Dana is fully aware of the relationship Khabib had with his father.
He understands that you can’t ask a guy like Khabib to do this thing without coming to terms with everything that he has lost in his life now.
So I support him taking some time. He needs it.”
First off, you can definitely get a sense of how close Cormier is to Khabib, based off these comments. So, because of that, no one should dismiss what ‘DC’ is saying.
2020 could very well come and go without Khabib fighting, and you never know, he may not fight again. After all, the 31 year-old has said in the past that he’s not planning to fight too much longer. As noted, he’s also made a lot of money.
But, the fact his manager Ali Abdelaziz believes Khabib will fight again and this year , could point to the champ returning at some juncture. Perhaps after the renowned fighter has had more time to mourn the loss of his father.