When Khabib Nurmagomedov appears returned at 2020, it’s tough to examine what the UFC light-weight champion will consider a tumultuous 12 months for now no longer simply him, however the whole world.

Maybe the phrase to satisfactory seize it for a younger guy who misplaced his father Abdulmanap in July and who needed to get better from the frustration of getting to withdraw from a combat years withinside the making with Tony Ferguson simplest to in the end face the person who beat “El Cucuy” – Justin Gaethje – this Saturday on Fight Island is persistence. Because thru it all, the 32-12 months-old has done what he’s constantly completed, regardless of what’s in the front of him.

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He’s moved forward. And whilst his father surpassed away, there has been simplest one path for him to go. Nurmagomedov knew it, however if he wanted a reminder, one in every of his longtime coaches, Javier Mendez, gave it to him.

I want to be champion – undefeated, undisputed, and most dominant fighter in UFC history,” he said. “We see a lot of fighters like Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Demetrious Johnson – they all lose. Some were submitted, some lose decisions, someone lost a lost of rounds, and I want to be most dominant fighter in UFC history.”

But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and travel restrictions forced Nurmagomedov out of the bout, it was Gaethje taking his place and beating Ferguson.

“I was a little upset when Justin beat him because my plan was to beat this guy,” he said. “This is sports, you never know what’s gonna happen.”

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