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Casey contests UFC 199 bout 24 hours after the death of father-in-law Muhammad Ali

Casey took on Elvis Mutapcic in Los Angeles.

Muhammad Ali with UFC middleweight Kevin Casey.
Muhammad Ali with UFC middleweight Kevin Casey.
Image: Instagram.com/KingKevinCasey

Updated at 00.28

KEVIN CASEY’S MIDDLEWEIGHT bout against Elvis Mutapcic went ahead tonight, in spite of the death of Muhammad Ali — Casey’s father-in-law — who passed away on Friday evening.

The legendary, iconic, peerless former world heavyweight boxing champion, who battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, died in Phoenix at the age of 74.

Casey competed on the preliminary card at UFC 199 at the Los Angeles Forum, fighting to a majority draw against Mutapcic on scores of 29-28, 28-29, 28-28.

The 34-year-old MMA fighter — who is married to Hana, Muhammad Ali’s daughter — posted a photo to Instagram of he and his father-in-law following Ali’s passing.

“It’s a lot to go through before a fight but thank you guys for the support and God bless my family,” Casey told the UFC’s Joe Rogan in a brief post-fight interview.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 00.15.12 Kevin Casey and Elvis Mutapcic after the result of the fight was announced.

Speaking to UFC.com back in January, Casey recalled his first meeting with the greatest fighter of all time: “It was this unbelievable feeling. It was hard to even look directly at him. I literally felt the energy coming off of him.”

In a post on Instagram, Hana Ali said: “Our hearts are literally hurting. But we are so happy daddy is free now. We all tried to stay strong and whisper in his ear, ‘You can go now. We will be okay. We love [you]. Thank you. You can go back to God now’.

“All of us were around him, hugging and kissing him and holding his hands, chanting the Islamic prayer. All of his organs failed but his heart wouldn’t stop beating.”

First published at 22.19 on Saturday, 4 June

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Paul Dollery

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