Khabib Says UFC Is Looking To Go Ahead With UFC 249 Without Him
It looks like the most anticipated fight in UFC history will be cancelled again. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are scheduled to meet in the UFC 249 main event on April 18th, for the UFC lightweight title. But with the coronavirus pandemic situation worsening by the day, the fight has looked in jeopardy for a while. Despite this, UFC president Dana White has repeatedly stated that he will do whatever it takes for the fight to go ahead as planned.
However, speaking on Instagram Live (as translated by RT), Khabib said that he was currently stuck in Dagestan. The 31 year old said he left the United States after he was told that his fight with Ferguson was definitely not going to happen there.
“We were training in the AKA without any information regarding the fight, where and how is it going to happen. Then the UFC told us that the fight 100% isn’t happening in the States. And they said that 99% that it will happen in Emirates, Abu Dhabi.
“After talking to the UFC we decided to fly over to the Emirates a month before the fight. I don’t remember the exact date, it was 19th or 20th, I’ll have to check. But when we landed in Emirates we learned that they are going to close borders. And no one will be able to leave or fly in, with exception for residents.
“So we had to fly back to Russia. 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.”
With Khabib stuck in Dagestan, the UFC lightweight champion said that he believes that the UFC is now looking for a new opponent for Ferguson.
“So now I am hearing that they are looking to organise it with or without me. OK, go ahead. Everyone should follow the laws. I am not against it, I know that fighters need to feed their families and pay their bills. I know how hard it is for the fighter. Unless they fight they aren’t getting any money.
“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. By that time I already spent five weeks of hard training in the AKA.
“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’s comments come just hours after Ferguson sent him a message on social media.
“April 18 Is Right Around The Corner @khabib_nurmagomedov , We Know You’re Hiding In Russia. The Travel Bans Will Not Prevent Me From Whoopin’ That Ass, So Don’t Use That As An Excuse To Back Out ? You Have Been Sent Many Locations … Just Send Us 1. You Are Still My Bitch & We’re Sure You Know It. #DefendorVacate MF ?? -CSO-“
With Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson looking less and less likely to happen for a fifth time, do you think we’ll ever see them fight inside the UFC Octagon?
Khabib has now officially ruled himself out of UFC 249. In the last couple of hours, the UFC lightweight champion has taken to social media to make the following statement:
“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? – 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 can’t 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 saying? –
Take care of yourself and put yourself in my shoes.”