Last Friday, a funeral ceremony was held for renowned coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who passed away following complications from the coronavirus disease. His funeral was attended by his children, close relatives, as well as Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.
Abdulmanap — best known as the father and longtime mentor of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov — was a celebrated coach and a respected voice within the Republic of Dagestan. His untimely death at age 57 was mourned by local politicians and athletes from around the world, including Khabib’s rivals Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, and Conor McGregor.
However, it was Kadyrov’s appearance at the funeral ceremony that sparked headlines across Russian media.
Footage posted on Kadyrov’s alleged social media account showed the dictator consoling Khabib at the funeral. Russian media also revealed that Khabib had thanked Kadyrov for allegedly arranging for Abdulmanap to be transferred to a hospital in Moscow during the early stage of his illness.
“The plan of the Most High cannot be changed, for all his will. Praise be to Allah,” Nurmagomedov was quoted as saying.
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Глава ЧР Рамзан Кадыров вчера ночью, в сопровождении своих ближайших соратников посетил Кироваул РД, что бы почтить память и выразить соболезнования родным и близким Абдулманапа Нурмагомедова. Кадыров отметил, всеобщее уважение, которое имел Абдулманап и его большие заслуги в развитии спорта. Он сказал, что с первых дней были на связи с родственниками и очень надеялись на его скорейшее выздоровление. Хабиб Нурмагомедов поблагодарил Кадырова, за визит и почтение к своему отцу. Также он выразил благодарность за помощь, которую Кадыров оказал в переводе его отца в Московскую клинику и дальнейшее лечении. «Предначертанное Всевышним не изменить, на все его воля! Хвала Аллаху» сказал Хабиб Нурмагомедов. Пусть Аллах простит все его грехи и обрадует раем! #абдулманапнурмагомедов #хабибнурмагомедов #кадыров #кироваул #похороны #соболезнование
Despite the well-documented reports of Kadyrov leading anti-gay purges within Chechnya, along with a host of other human rights abuses, the Nurmagomedov family continues to enjoy a friendly relationship with Kadyrov. Following his submission victory against McGregor, Nurmagomedov attended a celebratory dinner with the dictator in Grozny before being made an honorary citizen of Chechnya, the same political stunt that Kadyrov had used on Liverpool and Egypt superstar Mohamed Salah during the 2018 World. The warlord also gifted Nurmagomedov a brand new Mercedes to celebrate his win against McGregor.
By spending time with Nurmagomedov, Kadyrov is rebranding himself as a Chechen leader who is supportive of Dagestan, as well as its people, its athletes, and its interests. By honouring Nurmagomedov with Chechen citizenship, the dictator is co-opting the UFC fighter into his tribe, making a public showing of the fact that Nurmagomedov — a Dagestani Avar — is now also a Chechen citizen.
During one of his final visits to Chechnya, Abdulmanap was also gifted a brand new Mercedes by Kadyrov. Nurmagomedov shared a picture of his father with the car on Instagram, accompanied by a caption stating that Kadyrov has helped many families in Dagestan.
“You have done a lot of worthy deeds for the people of Dagestan.”