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Usman Nurmagomedov, cousin of Khabib, ‘dreams’ of bringing home Bellator belt to late uncle’s gym in Dagestan

USMAN NURMAGOMEDOV harbours “dreams” of winning an emotional belt for his late uncle at Bellator 288 tomorrow night.

Usman is the cousin of UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov who lost his father Abdulmanap in 2020 due to complications with Covid-19.

Usman Nurmagomedov hopes to become the first fighter from Dagestan to win a Bellator world title
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father – Abdulmanap – passed away in the summer of 2020

The tragic death of Khabib’s father and coach – who died aged 58 – prompted the undefeated fighter to hang up his gloves after his demolition of Justin Gaethje.

But now lightweight star Usman has vowed to continue his family’s legacy by making history as the first ever fighter from Dagestan to win a Bellator world title.

Ahead of taking on lightweight champion Patricky Freire in Chicago on Friday, he said: “I remember we would stay in the gym around 2016/2017.

“We would be living at the gym and every morning my uncle would come and wake us up at around 5am or 6am.

“He would coach and train us and he always told us that discipline is extremely important.

“It is the most important part to get the results we want.

“He always believed in me, helped me so for me I would like to win this belt and bring it back to Makhachkala and put it up in the gym of Abdulmanap. That’s my little dream.”

Usman wears a T-shirt with his uncle’s face on at fights and recently penned an emotional post on Instagram, which read: “You are not near, but you are always in my heart and I will never forget you uncle.”


Usman, 24, is unbeaten in 15 pro fights but says he wouldn’t be where he is today without his cousin Khabib in his corner.

Now a coach, Khabib has already seen one of his fighters become a world champ this year.

Islam Makhachev stormed to the the UFC lightweight title in October and Usman is confident he can follow in his footsteps.

He continued: “It’s a gift of destiny having Khabib in our corner. It’s very good to have a person that has been through it all.

“He helps us a lot, he guides us, coaches us and knows everything so every training session he is a very big part of this team.

“He does everything for us. He has been through it all he knows the cage inside and out so he’s been a very big part.

“He takes his time individually for every person, he controls everything, watches the sparring sessions. We are very lucky to have him.”

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