Khabib Nurmagomedov's Manager Issues Passionate Response To Retirement Rumours
Khabib Nurmagomedov's manager has responded to rumours that his client has retired from UFC - stating he is still grieving the loss of his father.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov tragically died at the age of 57 earlier this month following complications caused by coronavirus.
Reports in Russia had surfaced claiming the lightweight champion was ready to step away from the octagon.
However, Ali Abdelaziz has strongly denied the claims on Twitter and has stated the 31-year-old is taking time out of the spotlight.
Some of the Russian media reported I said Khabib is retired," he began.
"This is absolutely false. Khabib is grieving with his father passing away. I want everyone to be respectful to the situation and don't give fake news."
He then continued: "Whatever Khabib wants I will support 100%. He is my brother, there's a lot more important things in life than fighting. God bless you all."
Abdulmanap was also Khabib's coach and he helped turn 'The Eagle' into one of UFC's most feared fighters.
Khabib's next fight was set to be against Justin Gaethje in an undisputed title fight, but UFC president Dana White has stressed the promotion will allow him to grieve.
"It's terrible," White said of Abdulmanap's death ahead of UFC 251.
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"We know how much Khabib loves his father, we're just giving him time to mourn and heal."- UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) July 10, 2020
Dana White pays tribute to Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov and the future for Khabib. pic.twitter.com/OBRpSzsKXX
"We feel horrible for Khabib and how much he loves his father and how close they were.
"[We're] just giving him time to mourn and do whatever he needs to do. We're not bothering him at all right now. We're just leaving him alone."
Khabib spoke of the impact his father had on his career and life last year.
"My dad is also my trainer, I remember him first and foremost as a father and then as a coach," the 31-year-old explained.
"I think it wasn't easy for him to raise me as a fighter and as a son. I think it was very difficult. I myself am now a father, I have a son. I understand just about what he feels to me.
"He played a big role in my life, and until now he still continues to be my trainer and of course my father.
"Family plays a big part in my life. I always put them ahead of everything. I don't see anything more important in this life than family. I think we should always put them first."
Abdulmanap suffered a heart attack after being diagnosed with coronavirus, which required emergency surgery.
He was then twice placed into a medically-induced coma with his condition being reported as "serious but stable."
But he was shortly pronounced dead in a Moscow hospital.
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Featured Image Credit: Khabib Nurmagomedov/Instagram & PA Images