| Last updated
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died in July at age 57, following complications caused by coronavirus. That tragic event hung over Khabib before his UFC lightweight title defence against Justin Gaethje in October and, post-victory, the 32-year-old announced his retirement explaining he didn't want to fight on without his dad.
Now Khabib has shared a heartwarming video of him wrestling with Abdulmanap, alongside the simple message: "It was the best time. Father [heart]."
The Instagram video shows the pair locking up and playfully grappling indoors, as members of their training team watch on laughing.
At several points, Khabib attempts to surprise his dad with a cheeky takedown. But the stocky Abdulmanap is too cunning for that, widening his stance for support.
Khabib's dad even tries a few moves of his own on his son, but clearly that was never going to work. The two break into grins and swap instructions throughout the scuffle.
It must give the younger Nurmagomedov some comfort to watch footage of him and his father training and messing about together, while he deals with the grief of losing his dad at a relatively young age.
It was clear after the submission victory over Gaethje just how hard the Russian was finding it without his father there to guide and support him.
Speaking to Jon Anik inside the Octagon on the night, he tearfully announced: "Today I want to say this is my last fight.
"No way am I coming here without my father. When UFC comes to me about Justin, I spoke with my mother for three days.
"She didn't want me to fight without my father. I promised to her this was going to be my last fight and if I give her my word, I have to follow through with this.
"There is only one thing I want from UFC, to put me as No 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world because I deserve it."
"This is my last fight."@TeamKhabib pays his respects following a dominant performance at #UFC254 pic.twitter.com/5HiUvJXBJC
- UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020
Famously, Khabib is retiring with a perfect 29-0 MMA record - although it didn't look like he got the better of Abdulmanap during their friendly scrap.
Let's put that as the only unofficial draw on Khabib's record. We're sure this is one opponent he won't mind sharing victory with.
All imagery: PA Images/Instagram @khabib_nurmagomedov
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read