Khabib Nurmagomedov reflects on death of compatriot Maxim Dadashev

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UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has voiced his concerns regarding combat sports following the death of fellow Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev, who tragically passed away from injuries sustained in a recent bout against Puerto Rican fighter Subriel Matias.

Dadashev was reportedly unable to walk to his dressing room after the IBF light-welterweight bout was stopped by trainer Buddy McGirt at the end of the 11th round last Friday in Maryland.

The 28-year-old was hospitalised with bleeding on the brain and underwent emergency surgery, but ultimately failed to recover.

The Russian Boxing Federation said that after the fight, Dadashev’s condition worsened and the doctors diagnosed a cerebral edema.

An extensive and complex surgery then ensued, but sadly the St. Petersburg-born warrior’s heart gave out on Tuesday and he was pronounced dead.

The boxing world and wider combat sports fraternity has since entered a period of mourning, with friends and fellow fighters paying tribute to their fallen hero. Among those was Khabib, who wrote a sombre yet reflective message via Instagram to his 15.5 million followers.

“This incident proves to us yet again that there are more important things than sport. Every time I see or hear such news I begin to hate this sport of beating each other,” Khabib posted in his native language of Russian.

“Nothing is permanent, glory, money, titles, our entire lives, we will all exit this world, no one will stay forever. It is worth pondering. Strength to Maxim’s loved one. Do good things and may God reward us for our deeds and actions in the next life, and forgive our sins.”

Since 2009, the sport of boxing has been under heavy scrutiny over the number of deaths from injuries sustained in the ring which has seen 11 fighters pass away in the last decade.

Dadashev’s tragic story is yet another example of where safety precautions must be considered by the various governing bodies within the sport to create a safer environment for fighters where they don’t have to risk their lives every time they step in the ring.

Both Khabib and Dadashev are not only tied by their trade, but also heritage as the 30-year-old UFC superstar is a native of Russia’s Southern Republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus region, from where Dadashev’s ethnic ancestors originate.

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