Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap will be back in his corner at UFC 242 this September.
UFC 242 goes down this September in Abu Dhabi, a PPV card that will add some middle eastern flavor, with a big fight week planned. The main event will feature Khabib Nurmagomedov taking on Dustin Poirier in a title unification bout, the first fight back for Khabib following his suspension for the UFC 229 brawl.
At a press conference in London this week to kick off promotion for the event, the lightweight champion outlined why it’s going to be a special show for him personally.
“I think it’s going to be very big, and a very good show for everybody who’s going to fight in Abu Dhabi,” the Dagestani-Russian began. On a more personal note, he added that “for me, my father can come to Abu Dhabi, he’s going to be my corner [for the] first time in UFC. Because he don’t have visa and he can’t come to U.S. But in Abu Dhabi, a lot of [my] friends can come. For Russian people, you don’t need visa to come to Abu Dhabi. They already sold all tickets. It’s going to be good show for me, my family, my team. [My] father’s going to come, and I’m very excited about this. I can’t wait.”
The elder Nurmagomedov’s inability to corner his son has been a sore point throughout Khabib’s UFC career. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov coached his son from a young age, and has been a constant presence during his rise in the fight game. But twice, he has been denied a visa to enter the U.S.
‘The Eagle’ will also have teammates Zubaira Tukhugov and Islam Makhachev alongside him, after the Nevada State Athletic Commission eased up on the pair’s own suspensions stemming from UFC 229. “When UFC called me about fighting in Abu Dhabi, I told them I’m going to fight with my friends, my brothers, if not, we’re going to wait for when [the] disqualification finished,” the champ said. “We’re going to come back together, altogether. UFC, Hunter [Campbell], Dana [White], they did a very good job [cutting a deal with the NSAC], thank you so much for that. Right now we’re clear, everybody can fight, and September [at UFC 242], we’re going to come back.”
UFC 242 takes place September 7, 2019 in Abu Dhabi.