MMA: Khabib Nurmagomedov out of One Championship event due to Covid-19

One did not confirm if Nurmagomedov tested positive for the virus upon his arrival. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Mixed martial arts (MMA) superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov missed One Championship's Heavy Hitters event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday (Jan 14) night after testing positive for Covid-19.

The organisation had earlier said there was a possibility that he would not attend due to "Covid-19 health and safety protocols".

In a media statement several hours before the event, a One spokesman said the live show has "experienced several changes due to Covid-19 health and safety protocols" and added: "Multiple parties were impacted and unable to attend the event."

It was later confirmed that Nurmagomedov tested positive for the virus.

He arrived in Singapore on Wednesday night and was slated to be in the corner of fellow Russian Saygid Izagakhmaev, who was making his One debut against American James Nakashima.

One, however, did not confirm if Nurmagomedov - who is in the Republic for the first time - tested positive for the virus upon his arrival.

"On Khabib's attendance (for Heavy Hitters), One does not comment on the medical status of parties who are not contracted to One," said the spokesman.

Nurmagomedov, 33, retired in October 2020 as the lightweight champion of US-based MMA giant Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

He called time on his career with a perfect record of 29 wins, including one over Conor McGregor, the brash Irishman regarded by many as the biggest name in the sport.

One's Heavy Hitters event will be headlined by Chinese fighter Xiong Jingnan, who will defend her women's strawweight (Under-57kg) world title against Ayaka Miura of Japan.

On the lead card, Singapore's Tiffany Teo marked her return after more than a year when she submitted China's Meng Bo in the second round with a rear naked choke.

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