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7 Apr, 2021 10:55

‘6 months of recovery ahead’: Umar Nurmagomedov reveals UFC setback after ligament surgery

‘6 months of recovery ahead’: Umar Nurmagomedov reveals UFC setback after ligament surgery

Up-and-coming bantamweight star Umar Nurmagomedov’s plans for an active year inside the UFC octagon have suffered a setback after he revealed he has undergone cruciate ligament surgery.

Nurmagomedov – cousin of Russian UFC lightweight legend Khabib – shared an image on Instagram from his hospital bed as he recovers from the operation.

“The doctors said the operation was a success. 6 months of rehabilitation ahead. Alhamdulillah [praise to God],” the 25-year-old wrote.

Indicating the nature of the surgery, he added the hashtag “#cruciateligament.”

With Khabib watching on, the undefeated Umar finally made his UFC bow in January, choking out dangerous Kazakh Sergey Morozov in the second round of their contest on Fight Island to improve his record to 13-0.

That came after he had been forced out of his planned debut at UFC 254 in October, when he was hospitalized with a staph infection. 

READ MORE: Fight off: UFC debutant Umar Nurmagomedov HOSPITALIZED in Dubai as Khabib's cousin RULED OUT of UFC 254

After seeing off Morozov, the signs were that Umar was ready for a quick turnaround, and he even flew out to Las Vegas in February, apparently in the hopes of securing another fight in the near future.

Khabib had told the media after his cousin’s UFC debut that it would be nice to have one more fight in Las Vegas this March.

"If not – we will fight after Ramadan. We have plenty of time ahead of us. Umar is just 25. Two more fights this year would be perfect.”

Speaking at an event for Khabib’s Eagle Fighting Championship (EFC) in Moscow on Wednesday, manager Rizvan Magomedov said: “If everything goes well, then we’re looking at the end of the summer, start of autumn for [Umar’s next fight].”

However, if a six-month recovery timeline is accurate, that would likely push a return back until October at the earliest.

Also on rt.com ‘I hope it’s not in vain’: Umar Nurmagomedov stokes hopes of quick UFC turnaround as he plots course to Las Vegas

Both Khabib and his trainer Javier Mendez have tipped Nurmagomedov for big things in the UFC octagon, with the latter asserting: "Umar’s awesome, I expect he’s going to be the world champion in five or six fights.

"He’s completely different from Khabib. In the way he fights, he’s more of a striker-type base guy. But he can do it all, he can do everything."

Khabib famously overcame injury problems of his own on the way to capturing the UFC lightweight title, and has said his cousin has time on his side as he plots his rise to the top – albeit via a route which may need a detour with this latest setback.   

Also on rt.com Band of brothers: The men UFC icon Khabib is bidding to push to the pinnacle of MMA