‘A genius of combat sports’: Conor McGregor coach pays tribute to Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov
John Kavanagh, coach of UFC superstar Conor McGregor, has paid tribute to fellow MMA trainer Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov after he died in a Moscow hospital on Friday at the age of 57.
“Very sorry to hear of the passing of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A genius of combat sports and absolute inspiration to so many up and coming fighters,” wrote Kavanagh on learning of Nurmagomedov Sr’s death following complications from a Covid-19 infection.
“Sadly only entering his prime of coaching such a loss and tragedy. RIP and best wishes to his family during this difficult time.”
Very sorry to hear of the passing of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A genius of combat sports and absolute inspiration to so many up and coming fighters. Sadly only entering his prime of coaching such a loss and tragedy. RIP and best wishes to his family during this difficult time 🙏🏽
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) July 3, 2020
Kavanagh helped prepare fellow Irishman McGregor for his showdown with Abdulmanap’s son, UFC lightweight champion Khabib, in Las Vegas in 2018.
Nurmagomedov Sr had not been in his son’s corner on that occassion, being unable to obtain a US visa to attend Khabib’s fights stateside as he ascended to the top of his sport.
However, he had been in Khabib’s corner for his most recent title fight, a defense against interim champion Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi in September.
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As Kavanagh’s post attests, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was among the most widely respectd practitioners of his trade, in particular providing his son with the feared wrestling game which has helped him go undefeated in 28 professional MMA contests.
He died in a Moscow hospital on Friday afternoon, having suffered heart and brain complications following a Covid-19 diagnosis in May.