Khabib Nurmagomedov's father denied entry to United States for UFC 209

Finally! After what seemed like an eternity of waiting we are now just days away from Saturday's UFC 209, a fight card that seems destined to deliver scintillating action from start to finish.

In discussing his son's aptitude for easily handling one of nature's greatest predators in a boyhood grappling match, Nurmagomedov's father, Abdulmanap, told ToFight.Ru (h/t Bloody Elbow) in 2015 the matchup was "a test of character more than exercise". "I've never voiced this opinion before, didn't talk about it to anyone".

Khabib's father explained that he wants his son to remain healthy both mentally and physically and added that Khabib would be better served to help develop younger Russian fighters once he hits the age of thirty. Or, he's going to have to fight Khabib.

Speaking to StarSport, Mendez said: "I think there's a chance (of him fighting Nurmagomedov). In such a big sport, a career between 24-30 years old is enough." .

On paper and in all of the promotional materials, the UFC welterweight championship rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson is the main event of UFC 209, but for numerous sport's hardcore fans, the most intriguing fight on Saturday sees the clash of styles between lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.

Nurmagomedov also fought at UFC 205, emerging victorious with a third-round submission of Michael Johnson. But Tony Ferguson's camp warns that the ground is no safe haven for Nurmagomedov, as "El Cucuy" has been notorious for his chokes - either on the feet or on the ground, as noted by Bleacher Report. "My father is with me all the time, it's no problem".

  • Julie Sanders