Amid calls to officially make him a national hero, Khabib Nurmagomedov has shared a video of himself grappling with his late father, Abdulmanap, in an insight into the more playful side of the relationship he had with his mentor.
A revered coach in his native Dagestan, Nurmagomedov senior can be seen standing his ground against his superstar son in the video, which shows him offering tips as the pair try out moves.
Nurmagomedov clearly loved the time he spent working under his father’s guidance as he rose to the top of the sport, and he accompanied his new clip from behind the scenes of their rise to greatness with the words: “It was the best time. Father.”
Former UFC welterweight Sultan Aliev, who was part of the stable trained by Abdulmanap during his lifetime dedicated to developing fighters, was among his proteges to offer support in response to the post, which was shared with the lightweight king’s following of more than 25 million on Instagram.
Javier Mendez, who was in Nurmagomedov’s corner as he demolished Justin Gaethje in his first fight without his father by his side last month, also showed his affection in reply.
“The best ever poppa,” wrote Mendez, who has spoken about Nurmagomedov’s determination to preserve his father’s legacy.
Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, also added a series of hearts, writing two days after his star client had described him as a “guy who changed many things in my life.”
World-renowned mixed martial arts coach Abdulmanap died in a Moscow hospital following a heart attack on July 3 after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
He was buried in his home village of Kirovaul, in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan.
The late luminary once joined Nurmagomedov in an official meeting with president Vladimir Putin, and State Duma Deputy Gadzhimurad Omarov has now written to the Russian leader to urge him to make the 32-year-old a Hero of the Russian Federation – the highest honorary national title.
Omarov said: “In my view, Khabib – still in his young years – has already etched his name into the history of the nation, and not only by way of his sporting achievements.
“In these difficult times, when the level of morality among youngsters is rapidly declining, Khabib is demonstrating by example that any youngster, if they train and work diligently, can achieve incredible heights.
“Aside from that, his relationship with his family and to family values deserves deep respect.
“I consider people like Khabib outstanding examples for the upcoming generation to emulate, just as every generation has their own idols.”