Morning Report: Ali Abdelaziz says Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father is ‘improving’

Morning Report: Ali Abdelaziz says Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father is ‘improving’

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, father and coach of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, was hospitalized last month with a serious heart condition. According to reports, Abdulmanap underwent surgery on his heart due to complications from a previous ailment, triggered by the coronavirus. However, there appears to finally be good news on the horizon: according to Khabib’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, though the situation remains serious, the elder Nurmagomedov is currently in a hospital in Moscow and is improving.

“Khabib is very strong, his family is very strong and his father is very strong,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “He’s improving. He opened his eyes, responding a little bit — good sign. Allah is in control. We have faith he will be better, but at the end of the day, it’s completely up to his health whether it progresses or not. But he’s progressing, and we’re very happy about this.”

Aside from being Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is a respected sportsman in Russia and has trained many of the top fighters coming out of Dagestan. When the news was first announced that Abdulmanap had fallen ill, even Khabib’s most bitter rival, Conor McGregor, sent a message of support.

But despite the tragedy, for the UFC, the show must go on. UFC President Dana White has said the UFC is targeting a title unification bout between Khabib and interim champion Justin Gaethje for September, and Abdelaziz – who manages both fighters – says Khabib is planing to do just that.

“I think Khabib’s father being sick has motivated him more,” Abdelaziz said. “He’s training every day, two times a day. He’s in camp already. Me and him were talking and I said, ‘Hey, get your mind off, do what you need to do.’ He’s always training. He’s a true mixed martial artist. Same with Gaethje. They are both great guys and they want to fight. It’s a dream fight. It’s a real king versus king fight.”

Gaethje put himself in line for a title fight by stopping Tony Ferguson for the interim belt at UFC 249. In the aftermath, perhaps thinking Nurmagomedov would not be ready to fight given his father’s condition, Conor McGregor called for a fight with Gaethje. Gaethje is passing on that proposal but that doesn’t mean McGregor is out of the conversation. Dana White has repeatedly said that McGregor will get the next title shot. However, even considering McGregor’s considerate post about Abdulmanap, Abdelaziz says that if Khabib retains his title, Conor is up a creek without a paddle.

“If Justin wins, Justin might fight him. If Khabib wins, he better go down to 145 (pounds) because his ass is not getting a title at 170 or 155. . . For Khabib to fight Conor again — Khabib has ‘f*ck you money.’ He doesn’t need another $20 to $30 million. I can’t convince him to fight Conor. Honestly, right now, I don’t think Khabib will give Conor a chance. He’s different, man. It’s principle first, then after that, it becomes money. This guy (McGregor) talked about his father, mother, wife — you want to give this piece of sh*t another opportunity to do that again? Who would?”

MUST-READ STORIES

Company man. Joe Rogan weighs in on the UFC fighter pay situation.

GOAT. Leslie Smith talks about arrest at Black Lives Matter protest: ‘I care about that way more than I do about anything else’.

Professional Athlete. Brandon Royval still salty about UFC on ESPN 9 win, but quit full-time job afterward.

Back. Invicta FC announces full card for returning event in July.

VIDEO STEW

The A-Side Live Chat.

Kimbo’s UFC debut.

The latest finishes in UFC history.

Pros pick Blaydes-Volkanovski.

LISTEN UP

Between The Links. Discussing Conor’s retirement and the UFC’s pay uprising.

Heavy Hands. Discussing the fights this upcoming weekend and the unfortunate fall of two MMA technicians this past weekend.

SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Black Lives Matter.

View this post on Instagram

Thanks for including me in this important message

A post shared by Angela “Overkill” Hill (@angieoverkill) on Jun 10, 2020 at 1:00pm PDT

Gray Maynard keeps speaking on the pay issues with the UFC.

Highest contract they ever offered me was $42k to show and $42 to win https://t.co/aDFI50F8G9

— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) June 10, 2020

Your pay does improve as you win. But not the type of pay you think. Again, UFC pays approximately 18% of the revenue to the fighters https://t.co/e35XMHY8v3

— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) June 10, 2020

Yup. That’s how it’s was. Keep the contractual pay low and then give you a locker room bonus to keep you content for a little while https://t.co/EfzwCLqyLW

— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) June 10, 2020

Wasn’t really any negotiations. Take it or leave it. UFC bought most of the organizations up. I’m just speaking out in hopes for change to help the fighters now. Do you think I should keep my mouth shut and let it continue the way it is. 18% revenue share w/ the athletes https://t.co/lqQ96yr4Uw

— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) June 10, 2020

There’s many variables that go into speaking out against your employer that has you locked into a contract. Im not in contract with the ufc anymore, its a lot easier for me to speak up and share my experiences. Randy couture almost went broke trying to stand up to them back then https://t.co/GeoEYtSupP

— Gray Maynard (@GrayMaynard) June 10, 2020

Get rid of win bonuses.

Imagine you went to work did everything you had to do worked your ass off but you didn’t do one little thing right and they said well now you only get half your pay check. That shits rough

— Brian Kelleher (@brianboom135) June 10, 2020

Man, if Dana thought Jorge was asking for too much to fight Usman, just wait until he tries to make a fight with Conor and Jorge.

Best time to make McGregor vs Masvidal was Jan 19, the @ufc missed by not making it. Neither has a dance partner looks like they should make it now.

— Funky Ben (@Benaskren) June 10, 2020

Weird callout.

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It would be an honor !!! @spiderandersonsilva #forthefans #185 #letsgo

A post shared by Anthony Pettis (@showtimepettis) on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:15pm PDT

This poster is just so bland.

Coming to #UFCFightIsland… #UFC251 #InAbuDhabi @VisitAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/ZETAXCFx05

— UFC (@ufc) June 10, 2020

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Clay Guida (35-19) vs. Bobby Green (24-10-1); UFC Fight Night, June 20.

Emily Ducote (8-6) vs. Juliana Lima (10-6); Invicta FC, July 2.

Alesha Zappitella (6-2) vs. Lindsey VanZandt (7-3); Invicta FC, July 2.

DeAnna Bennett (10-6-1) vs. Victoria Leonardo (6-2); Invicta FC, July 2.

Chelsea Chandler (2-1) vs. Liv Parker (4-0); Invicta FC, July 2.

Claire Guthrie (1-0) vs. Laura Anderson (2-0); Invicta FC, July 2.

Genia Goodin (1-0) vs. Shelby Koren (0-0); Invicta FC, July 2.

Zhalgas Zhumagulov (13-3) vs. Raulian Paiva (19-3); UFC 251, July 11.

Modestas Bukauskas (10-2) vs. Vinicius Moreira (9-4); UFC Fight Night, July 15.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.

EXIT POLL

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