Two of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammates have cancelled their flights to “Fight Island” following the death of Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap.
Dennis Geyko of RT Sport reported the news.
JUST IN: Khabib teammates Umar Numagomedov and Tagir Ulanbekov have both cancelled their departure to #UFCFightIsland following news of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov's death. Unclear if they will now make their UFC debuts pic.twitter.com/TLFWlMVIyW— Denis Geyko (@DenisGeykoMMA) July 3, 2020
Umar Nurmagomedov, the younger cousin of Khabib, was set to face English prospect Nathaniel Wood at the UFC’s last Fight Island event on July 25th. Meanwhile, Tagir Ulanbekov was scheduled to fight Aleksander Doskalchuk on the first Fight Island card on July 18th.
Khabib’s father Abdulmanap, 57, was diagnosed with pneumonia and flu-like symptoms back in May, which turned out to be COVID-19. Although his conditions did start to improve, it was revealed on Thursday that Abdulmanap had passed away after a long battle with the virus.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has since offered Khabib his “deepest condolences” after Abdulmanp’s passing.
Whilst neither of Nurmagomedov and Ulanbekov’s fights have been officially cancelled, serious doubts loom over the matchups as both fighters have cancelled their flights to Abu Dhabi.
Three fights from upcoming Fight Island cards have already been cancelled due to positive coronavirus tests, A strawweight fight between Carla Esparza and Marina Rodriguez has been cancelled, whilst light heavyweight Vinicius Moreira and bantamweight Anderson dos Santos tested positive for COVID-19.
UPDATE: TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter has since reported the signing of Canadian flyweight Malcolm Gordon by the UFC. Gordon will reportedly replace Tagir Ulanbekov for his July 18th bout against Aleksander Doskalchuk.