UFC fighters, coaches honor memory of Khabib Nurmagomedov's father

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was a mentor and inspiration to many in the MMA community, as well as the father and coach of Khabib, who is one of the greatest MMA fighters ever. EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, father of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, died Friday after battling COVID-19, and his impact on the world of mixed martial arts was evident by the outpouring of respect that immediately followed on social media.

Abdulmanap was not just the father of Khabib, the undefeated phenom who is ESPN's top-ranked pound-for-pound MMA fighter, he was also Khabib's longtime head coach and the mentor of many of the excellent UFC fighters coming out of Dagestan, the Russian republic that is a hotbed of MMA.

Following his death, coaches, fighters and others in the MMA community took to social media to offer condolences and honor the life of Abdulmanap, one of the most influential leaders of martial arts in Eastern Europe -- and beyond.