UFC interim lightweight title challenger Khabib Nurmagomedov will be competing without his father in attendance for what is his most important bout to date. Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had his visa denied and won’t be there on Saturday to watch his son square off against fellow lightweight phenom Tony Ferguson. This isn’t the first time he hasn’t had his father there, either. Here’s what Khabib told The MMA Hour:
“He has a little bit problem, they cancel his visa. I don’t understand why, but they have a little bit problem about visa.”
“Before my last fight with Michael Johnson, we tried to make visa. This is old news, but this now has become new news. When I fight in USA, when I sign in 2012 to fight in UFC, he never can come and support me because we have problem with visa. One time USA give him visa and he come when my brother fighting. When UFC give me fight with Darrel Horcher, one year ago and he tried to come to American and they cancelled his visa.”
“I am fighting eighth time without my father. It’s okay. He prayed for me, with me all the time with my heart. We talk with him everyday about my weight, my plan, my everything. My father is with me all the time, it’s no problem.”
It is heartbreaking, but if Khabib wins it will be a celebration wherever his father is.