Khabib Nurmagomedov has confirmed his father Abdulmanap remains in serious condition after suffering heart problems arising from a coronavirus infection, as the UFC lightweight champion spoke for the first time on the issue.

In a video post on Instagram in Russian, Khabib said: “A lot has been written about my father on the Internet.

“He’s in the hospital now, he’s in a very serious condition. 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.”

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on May 18, 2020 at 11:53am PDT

Khabib added that more than 20 of his relatives have been infected with Covid-19.

“Personally, I’ve had more than 20 relatives – I don’t mean people I know, I mean close relatives – who have been in intensive care…

“Many people I know have died, the parents of people close to me.”  

Khabib called on his fellow Dagestanis to take the spread of the virus seriously and follow the advice of doctors and the authorities, with reports of a worsening situation in the southern Russian region.  

“This virus has affected everyone. This virus doesn’t ask what your surname or name is, this virus doesn’t ask where you work, if you are rich or poor,” Khabib added.

“Everyone has got ill. We can only overcome this together.”

The UFC champion also called on the majority Muslim region to celebrate the impending end of Ramadan in lockdown, and to ensure they follow the advice of doctors and the authorities to halt the spread of the deadly disease.

The post to his 20 million Instagram followers is the first time Khabib has spoken publicly about the condition of his father and coach. 

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, 57, was first hospitalized in Dagestan toward the end of April with what were reported as pneumonia-like symptoms. 

He was initially treated in regional capital Makhachkala, but was transferred on a special flight to a military hospital in Moscow when his condition worsened.  

After the news broke last week that he was in a coma following a heart operation, support poured in from the world of MMA, including UFC boss Dana White and a number of Khabib’s rivals such as Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson.

Despite regaining consciousness, Nurmagomedov Sr is reportedly still unable to talk or move.