UMAR NURMAGOMEDOV has been ruled out for six months after having cruciate ligament surgery.
Nurmagomedov, cousin to UFC legend Khabib, is 12-0 in his MMA career and last fought in January.
He beat Sergey Morozov on his UFC debut and with Khabib retired, the 25-year-old would have hoped to carry on the family name.
But Nurmagomedov will be made to wait after revealing the extent of his injury on Instagram.
He posted: “The doctors said the operation was a success. 6 months of rehabilitation ahead. Alhamdulillah [praise to God]."
Nurmagomedov's coach Javier Mendez, who also trained Khabib, has high hopes for the UFC newcomer.
So much so that he backs the bantamweight to become champion in just two years.
Mendez told MMA Junkie in Febuary: "I’ve been saying it, in five or six fights.
"I expect him to be fighting for a title, and I believe we’re seeing a new champion, 100 percent.
"He still has some improvements to make, but he’s going to make them.
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"And, yeah, you will be seeing him with the strap in five or six fights from now."
Despite announcing his shock retirement from MMA last year, unbeaten icon Khabib is still very much involved in the sport.
He has now transitioned into coaching, inspired by his late father and mentor Abdulmanap, who passed away in July.
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