Khabib Nurmagomedov is the rightful contender to join the UFC Hall of Fame induction and it's has been done.
Khabib as "The Greatest Of All-Time," had a great influence in his career, helping him to a historic run through the UFC and a perfect 29–0 record before retiring. But it is hard to imagine that anyone had a greater influence than his father.
As he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame on Thursday, the ex-lightweight champion paid an emotional tribute to his father, Abdulmanap, who passed away nearly two years ago due to complications caused by COVID-19.
“I grew up in a very small village with a very poor life,” Nurmagomedov explained. “My father, he bring us from village, he sold our house and he brings me, my brother, my cousins, it was almost like 15 people from village to capital city. He rented a very big house and we all was living together. We would eat together. We was going to school, come back, training, come back, just father, trying to invest everything we have. Time, energy, money, he invested in us. He invested in us.
“From this house comes six world champions, UFC champions, a lot of champions and very good people because father invested everything that we have. He gave us a good education. He gave us good opportunity to learn in good schools, university, he invested everything he had. All his life he was doing, he was investing in people. This is very big motivation for me. Even now when I’m finished, right now I’m trying to invest in people. Because this is the best investment.”
His father's death also changed Nurmagomedov's outlook forever, which is why his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame was an emotionally charged moment for him.
“I can do whatever I want in the world,” Nurmagomedov explained. “I can buy any house in the world, but this is gives me good energy. This is not who I am. This is not what my father teach me. I’m very happy about this because I remember like 10 years ago, my mind was completely different. ‘Oh, I’m going to become champion. I’m going to become rich. I’m going to buy everything.’
“But everything what happened the last two years, this has changed my mind and changed the way how I was thinking. It was the third of July 2020, almost two years ago, it’s going to be two years that father is not with me. It’s a very hard time standing here and talking about him. It’s very emotional for me.”
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