So it’s official. We’ve lost a lightweight clash between champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov, and former interim champion, Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson, for a fifth separate occasion.
The undisputed lightweight gold-holder revealed in an Instagram live video earlier that this week that he was stranded in Russia amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – with travel restrictions preventing his travel out of the country. Nurmagomedov’s involvement on the scheduled showcase of UFC 249 on April 18th. is officially scrapped now, per a recent Instagram post from the undefeated sambo-specialist this evening, as he’s explained how he’s had to cancel his appearance at UFC 249.
“Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine, governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight?” Nurmagomedov wrote.”
“– I understand everything and I’m definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight, probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I cannot control it all. The greatest countries and the largest companies of our time are shocked by what is happening, every day the situation changes unpredictably. But Khabib still has to fight, is that what you (sic) saying? – Take care of yourself and put yourself in my shoes.”
News of Khabib’s withdrawal follows news earlier this week which brought light to a bout offer received by Tony Ferguson, for a short-notice matchup with perennial contender, Justin Gaethje. As of yet, it’s unknown if Ferguson has accepted the last-minute fight replacement against Gaethje. Fellow one-time interim lightweight best, Dustin Poirier has also thrown his name into the hat to possibly face Ferguson on April 18th.
If UFC 249 is to take place on April 18th. as originally scheduled – it’s believed the card with consist of competitors currently based in the United States, with locations and venues in both Florida and Oklahoma current possibilities for the organisation. However, one thing’s for certain though – we must shelve Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson once again.