‘I was glad to see you’: Russian champ Nurmagomedov embraces fan and shares MMA training session with Dagestani UFC hopeful Aliev
Russian UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov has been hailed for flanking a wheelchair-bound fan with his MMA fighter cousin, Umar, in a heartwarming photo taken after a training session with MMA newcomer and countryman Imamshafi Aliev.
Naming the man as Khlaydar, a long-term ally who once visited him at a training camp, the retired UFC lightweight champion placed an arm around his supporter's shoulder while unbeaten Umar smiled to his right.
The pair then posed together for a separate picture as Nurmagomedov added: "I was glad to see you, brother. May Allah give you health and good luck in everything."
Former world and Olympic wrestling champion Roman Vlasov responded: "The largest heart in the world."
Hours earlier, Nurmagomedov had told part of the story of Aliev, an MMA middleweight who picked up the third win of his perfect early career at UAE Warriors 13 in September.
"About five years ago, he was selling galoshes in the bazaar," explained Nurmagomedov, sharing a photo of the duo resting in a gym after training and looking ahead to Aliev's next fight, at a joint tournament between UAE Warriors and his own Eagle Fighting Championship in Abu Dhabi next week.
"And now he is ploughing on in full and wants to break into the UFC."
22-year-old prospect Aliev has been a long-term member of Nurmagomedov's training camp, describing his illustrious sparring partner as a "worthy brother" and helping him to prepare for his emotional victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October.
The Dagestani would have understood more than most when Nurmagomedov wrote before their latest session: "[I'm] from the high-mountain village of Dagestan, where people worked in the summer to survive in the winter."
Accompanying his words with an image showing the UFC logo, he told his millions of Instagram followers: "In any field, be it medicine, sports or study, we should always set higher goals. Just be the best in everything and everywhere."Also on rt.com Work out like Khabib: UFC champ to expand business empire ‘with chain of gyms in Russia and plans for London & Middle East’