'It will be annual': Khabib reveals details of MMA tournament to honor father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed details of this week's first annual MMA tournament to honor his late father Abdulmanap who passed away earlier this year due to complications from COVID-19.
The patriarch of the Nurmagomedov family, who was also Khabib's longtime trainer, died in a Moscow hospital in early July after a prolonged battle with the virus and was buried in his home village of Kirovaul, in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan.
To honor the legacy of Abdulmanap, Khabib has revealed details of what will be an annual mixed martial arts tournament - with the first event to take place this coming Wednesday in Moscow and will be co-promoted by Fight Nights Global and GFC (Gorilla Fighting Championship).Also on rt.com 'My fighting IQ tells me Conor is better standing than Gaethje': Khabib Nurmagomedov opens door to McGregor rematch (VIDEO)
"This tournament will be annual, we have already planned it," Khabib told Match TV.
"Only the date will change. So every year at the end of summer or at the beginning of fall we will have this event every year. Other than that, there were no problems with the organization.
"The fighters wanted to fight, and promoters also were also interested in making the event. Most likely due to the fact that many events have been canceled because of coronavirus pandemic.
"So everything came about very well. I hope the tournament will be held at a high level."
The influence that Abdulmanap has had on Khabib's fighting legacy has been almost incalculable.
The younger Nurmagomedov, whose career record stands at an undefeated 28-0, has had no equal in the cage since debuting with the UFC in 2012, with Abdulmanap guiding his son towards the UFC world title - as well as subsequent defenses against the likes of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
And, as Khabib reflected further, he said he hopes that the tournament will be a fitting tribute to his father, who was renowned as one of the foremost mixed martial arts coaches in the world. And, in keeping with the family-based theme, Khabib says that his cousin will be participating in the debut event.Also on rt.com 'Four of our team will be fighting': Khabib says UFC 254 comeback will be family affair
"I can highlight two fights from this event," Khabib said.
"The first one is with my brother Usman. And the second one is the main event. A fight between two champions of their organizations (Fight Nights Global and GFC) - Vladimir Mineev versus Dauren Ermekov.
"I think Mineev will be the winner, but you can’t underestimate Ermekov."