Khabib Says UFC LW Division Needs Tony Ferguson Fight To Go Ahead
The world is going through a challenging period right now with the coronavirus outbreak. Not only is the virus itself causing numerous deaths and havoc globally, the precautions being put in place to try and contain the spread of it, are impacting everyone around the world. Including the sporting world. And for MMA fans, there is one fight that every single one of them is preying won’t be affected – UFC 249‘s main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.
Yesterday, Dana White announced that the promotion’s next three events had all been postponed. The UFC president did however state that UFC 249 will definitely go ahead.
“Khabib vs Ferguson on April 18th is still on and will happen. No crowd. Whatever it takes. Probably not even gonna be in the United States. But this fight is gonna happen.”
Speaking on an Instagram Live video in the last few hours with his manager Ali Abdelaziz (as transcribed by ESPN.com), Khabib said that he expects to learn ‘the location’ of his fight with Ferguson in the upcoming days.
“We’ll see. Next couple days, Dana is gonna send us location. … First of all, most important thing is health. If we’re healthy, family is healthy, that’s the most important thing right now. We have to take care of ourselves.”
When the US government announced that you could no longer have more than 100 people in a room together, the UFC planned to continue their shows behind closed doors. However, when this number was reduced to just ten, the UFC had to admit defeat and cancel their next three events.
Khabib however, doesn’t believe that the UFC needs many people inside an arena to make the fight happen with Ferguson.
“We don’t need too many people inside the arena. Just close the arena and that’s it.”
The UFC lightweight champion has recently stated that he needs to beat Ferguson for his legacy. But Khabib also believes that the UFC 155lbs division needs the fight to go ahead.
“I don’t want to hold up the lightweight division. We have to fight with Tony Ferguson and know who is the next contender — this is very important. Not for me. For UFC, for fans. This is very important for lightweight division.”
Meanwhile, Khabib’s father Abdulmanap has told RBC (as transcribed by MMA Fighting) that he believes his son’s fight with Ferguson will move to Dubai.
“Most likely it will be Dubai. Firstly, it’s easier to fight diseases because of the heat. And I think the Emirates will pay for the UFC fight faster and easier.
“Abu Dhabi may well be, but then, [that’s up to] Dana White. I can’t approve, but there are more chances there.”
Abdulmanap went on to say that while they could fight in front of the fans in Dubai, it would be better if it was still behind closed doors.
“Khabib feels great, everything is going according to plan. He is not afraid of the coronavirus, we are all mortals. What about empty stands? I think that the audience is good, but without them it is even better.”
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson will go ahead on April 18th?