Khabib Nurmagomedov is stuck in Russia’s lockdown and set to miss UFC 249 as his fight against Tony Ferguson faces being cancelled for a FIFTH TIME with the champ unable to fly to the US
- UFC 249 was due to take place at the Brooklyn Center in New York on April 18
- Khabib Nurmagomedov was set to face Tony Ferguson in a long-awaited fight
- However, after being told it’d be relocated to the UAE, Khabib is now in Russia
- The undefeated champion admits the event could now go ahead without him
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Khabib Nurmagomedov says he is stranded in Russia and admits the UFC 249 event he was set to appear in could go ahead without him.
The unbeaten Russian was due to face Tony Ferguson on April 18 at the Brooklyn Center in New York, but was told by UFC that the fight was ‘99% likely’ to take place in the UAE.
As a result, Khabib flew to the Middle East and then home to Dagestan in Russia due to the coronavirus lockdown and now admits that the event could be staged without him back in the US.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently stranded in Russia due to the coronavirus lockdown
His fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 is in doubt, with a new venue yet to be announced
Date: April 18
Current location: TBC
- Khabib, 28-0-0
- Ferguson 25-3-0
‘So now I am hearing that they are looking to organise it with or without me. OK, go ahead,’ said Khabib, via Instagram Live on Monday morning.
‘I am even hearing that they are looking for an opponent for Tony, because he is in the States and I am here in Russia. But I am here not on my own will.
‘The UFC told me that this fight 100% isn’t happening in the USA, and even if it’s not happening in the Emirates it will happen on this side of Atlantic. We discussed everything with the UFC.
‘Now I don’t really know what’s going on. It’s really hard to train and cut your weight when the whole world is locked down and you don’t know what you are preparing for. But it’s not the first time I face obstacles in my career.’
Khabib added that he is still training, though revealed the uncertainty surrounding the fight has made preparation particularly difficult to focus on.
Khabib took part in an Instagram Live video on Monday where he explained his situation
UFC president Dana White is insistent that UFC 249 involving Khabib will still go ahead
‘Currently I am in Dagestan and I am training and preparing every day. Although I don’t know what am I preparing for. Because after we came to Russia we also learned that the borders are going to be locked.
‘Same like in the States, same like in Europe, Emirates, everywhere. The whole world is in quarantine right now.’
UFC president Dana White admitted ‘it’s nuts, but I’m going try and pull off Tony v Khabib’ despite the halting of sporting events across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
White’s insistence on going ahead with the bout may derive from his frustration that the pair have yet to face each other in the octagon, with the fight previously being cancelled four times.
New York has now pulled out of hosting attempt number five to get the fight on, though the man in charge of the MMA promotion is still actively looking for a new venue.
It remains to be seen whether the pair will lock horns on April 18 for the lightweight title
Last week, White teased that he knew the new location of the event, but would not be telling the public just yet.
‘I do (know where it is),’ White said on Instagram Live.
‘But I’m not ready to tell you yet. I know lots of things. There’s not going to be any fans there. It’s going to be a closed event.’
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