02:00 GMT16 July 2020
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    Russian MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, who decided not to fight with Tony Ferguson earlier this year amid coronavirus concerns, will have to face new interim champion Justin Gaethje to defend his title.

    Speaking on Russian state television, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said that he was continuing his intense training to return in the autumn to defend his title against Justin Gaethje.

    Khabib said that hard training helps him to overcome his feelings surrounding his father's health issues.

    "I'm training every day, preparing, because I know my father would want me to stay in shape and not stop training because of him," Khabib said.  

    According to the fighter, the training regime is what his father, Abdulmanap, would want to see from his son and it even helps him to raise a smile during hospital visits.    

    "When I visit him I always tell him, 'I'm training every morning and evening, I'm in good shape', and I see a smile appear on his face.

    Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov was admitted to hospital on 25 April. The 57-year-old father of the UFC lightweight champion of Dagestani origin remains in a serious condition in a Moscow hospital after suffering heart complications arising from a COVID-19 infection. 

    MMA, UFC, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Russia
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