It seems that the UFC 249 main event, which was expected to pit Khabib Nurmagomedov against Tony Ferguson, could be off the table again.
There has been widespread worry over the last few days about Khabib Nurmagomedov’s whereabouts, and on Monday morning, “The Eagle” took to Instagram Live to confirm that he is seemingly stranded in Russia now that the country has closed its borders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Below you can find the full translation of what Khabib Nurmagomedov said on his social media (via Denis Geyko).
“We were training in the AKA without any information regarding the fight, where and how is it going to happen,” Nurmagomedov began. “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 the exception of 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 as in the States, the same as in Europe, Emirates, everywhere. The whole world is in quarantine right now.”
“So now I am hearing that they are looking to organize it with or without me,” Nurmagomedov continued. “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 5 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.”
Some days ago, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s agent Ali Abdelaziz denied that UFC 249 is taking place in Saudi Arabia.
At this time, the UFC has not released any new information regarding the status of the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight, but it’s not looking good. Stay tuned for further information as details emerge.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/30/2020.