Coach Provides Update on Khabib Nurmagomedov, Following Father’s Passing

Recently Khabib Nurmagomedov lost his father to complications from COVID-19, and his coach Javier Mendez has provided an update on how the champ's doing.

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coach reports the champ is still dealing with the tragic loss of his father Abdulmanap, not surprisingly. But, the undefeated fighter continues to map out plans for his next training camp, in advance of his October 24th bout with Justin Gaethje.

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Javier Mendez comments on how close Khabib was with his father

In July, Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap, passed away from complications related to COVID-19. The highly regarded and accomplished coach passed away in a Russian hospital, following a lengthy battle with the virus and other medical issues that arose from it.

Recently Khabib’s longtime striking coach, Javier Mendez, spoke with ESPN. While discussing how Nurmagomedov is doing, considering the situation, Mendez said this (quote via MMA Fighting).

“I did speak to him for the first time about two weeks ago, and he’s still going through missing his father,” Mendez said. “Rightfully so. The way they were connected, his father was pretty much his everything.

Having his father’s blessing gave him that power to go out and do what he needed to do. Everything his father wanted him to do, Khabib would go out and accomplish it.

Now, he doesn’t have that. So, he’s gotta focus on the legacy his father wanted for him and live through that.

Do something great for the legacy of your father.”

Due to how close Khabib was with his father, some people are surprised he’s returning to the cage in October. But, it sounds like that drive to build his legacy, and honor his father, is a big reason why.

Mendez also reported that due to the COVID-19 pandemic in California, Nurmagomedov plans to hold his training camp for UFC 254 in Dagestan. Mendez is heading there soon to help him prepare.

Retire at 30-0?

Lately, there’s been talk about Khabib possibly fighting just two more times. Khabib has already said he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre next spring.

If he were to beat both Gaethje and GSP, Khabib’s record would be 30-0. Mendez confirmed that Khabib’s father proposed his son walk away from fighting if and when he reached the 30-0 mark.

“It was discussed on numerous occasions — 30-0,” Mendez said. “And GSP was definitely the legacy fight. If they can complete that, I could see 30-0 and he’s done.

I can definitely see that. That conversation was brought up numerous times while I was with them.”

Could this happen? Don’t be surprised if it did. Khabib has been saying for some time now that he doesn’t want to fight well into this ’30s.

Retiring at 30-0, having just defeated one of the greatest fighters of all time? That would be a pretty amazing way to go out.

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