UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has received calls offering reassurance from Vladimir Putin after his father, Abdulmanap, was placed in a medically induced coma this week, according to the fighter’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz.
According to Abdelaziz, the Russian President contacted Khabib personally to promise that his father, who is said to have been connected to a life support machine after his condition worsened, is receiving the best possible care.
The 57-year-old, who previously underwent heart surgery after suffering a stroke due to COVID-19, has been put in a coma after a heart bypass operation at a military hospital in Moscow, Abdelaziz confirmed.
“Khabib has been in contact with Vladimir Putin over the last several days, and he has promised Khabib’s father will receive the best medical treatment available,” he told ESPN.
He later told MMA Fighting: “It makes us a little bit at ease, but everything’s in Allah’s hands…and we can get all the help we can.”
Putin had been rumored to have told Khabib that he could telephone him at any time after publicly meeting him to offer his congratulations following his UFC victories against both Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
The national hero scotched suggestions that he could have asked the President or his US counterpart, Donald Trump, to help him overcome border restrictions ahead of the cancellation of his scheduled fight at UFC 249 in April.
“Because I’m the champion they have to give me a private plane?” he asked.
“I have to call Vladimir Putin, I have to call Donald Trump? ‘Please give me a plane?’
“People are so stupid. Right not, we talk about thousands of people dying. It’s too much crazy stuff, it’s like a movie.”
Khabib’s Russian manager, Rizvan Magomedov, also hit out at the suggestions in a sarcastic post on his Instagram story after the event was postponed, saying: “Where do you need to fly now? When you find a flight, don’t forget to call Putin.”
On Monday, Khabib used the social media platform to tell concerned supporters that his father had been diagnosed with COVID-19, adding that his father had been suffering from “heart complications”.
“He’s in the hospital now, he’s in a very serious condition,” said the 31-year-old, who later urged his compatriots to stay safe and observe health guidelines in Dagestan, which has been badly affected by the outbreak.
“He had heart complications stemming from the virus. This virus has very seriously affected his heart, since he had a heart operation a year ago.
“He’s had surgery again. He’s in a difficult situation, very difficult. We ask Allah to return him to us. Thank you very much to everyone who writes, who sends their support. May Allah help us all.”