Nurmagomedov’s dad, legendary MMA coach Abdulmanap, died at the age of 57 after contracting Covid-19 in July 2020.
The former UFC lightweight champion was never really the same again as he retired shortly after that, honouring a promise made to his mother that he would not continue to fight without his late father and long-time trainer by his side.
And after being introduced on stage by manager Ali Abdelaziz, 44, Nurmagomedov struggled to disguise his emotions as he was recognised for everything he accomplished during his career.
Nurmagomedov said: “I grew up in a very small village with a very poor life.
“My father, he bring us from village, he sold our house and he brings me, my brother, my cousins, it was almost like 15 people from village to capital city.
“He rented a very big house and we all was living together. We would eat together. We was going to school, come back, training, come back, just father, trying to invest everything we have.
“Time, energy, money, he invested in us. He invested in us.
“From this house comes six world champions, UFC champions, a lot of champions and very good people because father invested everything that we have.
“He gave us a good education. He gave us good opportunity to learn in good schools, university, he invested everything he had. All his life he was doing, he was investing in people.
“This is very big motivation for me. Even now when I’m finished, right now I’m trying to invest in people. Because this is the best investment.”
A former UFC lightweight champion, Nurmagomedov can pretty much afford anything he wants right now.
However, he insisted that he will continue to live a happy and simple lifestyle, as that isn’t what his father taught him about life.
He added: “I can do whatever I want in the world.
“I can buy any house in the world, but this is gives me good energy. This is not who I am. This is not what my father teach me.
“I’m very happy about this because I remember like 10 years ago, my mind was completely different.
“‘Oh, I’m going to become champion. I’m going to become rich. I’m going to buy everything.’
“But everything what happened the last two years, this has changed my mind and changed the way how I was thinking.
“It was the third of July 2020, almost two years ago, it’s going to be two years that father is not with me.
“It’s a very hard time standing here and talking about him. It’s very emotional for me.”