Nurmagomedov, the reigning UFC light-weight champion, misplaced his father earlier this month. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov died after an extended battle with problems attributable to COVID-19. Khabib was anticipated to unify the light-weight title with interim champ Justin Gaethje within the fall, however with Abdulmanap’s loss of life, these plans would appear to be up within the air.
Cormier, a buddy and teammate of Khabib’s at American Kickboxing Academy, understands the bond that Khabib had along with his father and isn’t so positive followers will see him battle in 2020.
“I don’t suppose he’s preventing this yr, actually,” Cormier instructed ESPN on Monday. “And it’s gong to take a variety of energy from a really robust man for Khabib to be again within the octagon, ever. I simply know what Abdulmanap meant to him, and I do know that this was their journey collectively.
“I knew straight away that Khabib wasn’t going to (come again in September). … It’s going to be too troublesome. It’s going to be too troublesome. Khabib is coping with one thing that’s so troublesome and so robust. And like we spoke a few weeks in the past, him and his dad’s relationship is a lot completely different. He was every thing to him, and now he’s gone, so it’s going to be awhile earlier than we see Khabib.
“And I like my brother, and I hope he takes as a lot occasions as he wants as a result of it’s only a completely different state of affairs for Khabib and his dad versus most individuals. So don’t rush your self again in there, take your time. So we don’t get Khabib in September. OK, we get (Israel Adesanya) vs. (Paulo Costa), which is an exceptional battle. You already know what else I like? Dana White saying, ‘Take as a lot time as you need,’ as a result of Dana is totally conscious of the connection Khabib had along with his father. He understands that you may’t ask a man like Khabib to do that factor with out coming to phrases with every thing that he has misplaced in his life now. So I help him taking a while. He wants it.”
Earlier this month, White mentioned he’d give Khabib no matter time he wanted to mourn the loss of life of his father earlier than returning to competitors. In an interview printed by The Nationwide on Monday, White mentioned that Nurmagomedov would possible battle when the UFC returns to Abu Dhabi later this yr.
Khabib’s father was considered one of his major coaches, together with Javier Mendez. He was current for a few of Khabib’s largest accomplishments. Cormier can’t think about what Khabib, one of many UFC’s largest stars and highest paid fighters, goes by and wouldn’t rule out retirement.
“I hope he fights, however I don’t know. I don’t know,” Cormier mentioned. “Like I mentioned, he’s going to must muster up a variety of energy for an already robust particular person to go on the market and do it. And if he does, I simply don’t understand how lengthy he’ll be round. Perhaps he fights and honors his father with one other large and unbelievable efficiency. However I look again at his battle in September (2019), and when he received, the way in which his dad reacted it nearly … you noticed the video when his dad reacts after he received towards Dustin Poirier, and it was nearly like his spirit was crammed with pleasure watching his child do this. I’m simply glad they obtained to share that collectively.”