UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says father critical with Covid-19

‘In my personal case, I’ve had more than 20 people sick from my family’

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says his father is in critical condition after being infected by Covid-19, and he has lost several relatives to the virus.

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has played a large part in his son's wildly successful mixed martial arts career, and encouraged his son to wrestle from when he was young. Khabib is undefeated in all 28 of his professional fights, including a victory over Conor McGregor in October 2018.

“There is a lot written on the internet about my father. My father, right now, is in a hospital. He is in critical condition as a result of this virus. It impacted his heart because last year he had a surgery there, and right now, they did another surgery. He is in a very difficult situation, very difficult. We are asking Allah that he returns him to us,” said Nurmagomedov during an Instagram live chat on Monday.

The Dagestan fighter went on to say that other members of his family had been affected by the virus.

“In my personal case, I’ve had more than 20 people sick from my family,” Nurmagomedov said. “More than 20 people were lying in the ICUs. And many of them are no longer among us. Many acquaintances have died, many parents of my relatives. Everybody is having a hard time dealing with it.”

Differing reports had circulated before Nurmagomedov’s statement on Monday. Some said Abdulmanap had been placed in a medically induced coma, while others said he had had a heart attack or stroke.

Nurmagomedov, who is Muslim, encouraged those observing Ramadan to practice social distancing. “Our learned Islamic scholars are telling us, ‘Stay home, and do the holiday prayer,’” Nurmagomedov said. “Don’t have guests. Don’t go yourselves as guests. It is a very difficult situation.”

UFC president Dana White, who has expressed concern for Abdulmanap's health, has not scheduled Nurmagomedov for any upcoming fights, although he has said he hopes the champion can fight Justin Gaethje in September. – Guardian