Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the father of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, is understandably hopeful that his son’s UFC 249 fight with Tony Ferguson will still happen. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause increasing risk, however, the future of the matchup is uncertain.
UFC 249 was originally scheduled for April 18 in Brooklyn, New York. While UFC President Dana White is adamant the fight will still happen on the targeted date, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that the fight will happen in New York— or even the United States.
“Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib on April 18 is still on and that will still happen,” White said of UFC 249 on SportsCenter on Monday night.
“We’re going to follow these guidelines not to have more than 10 people in a room, and we’re hoping this all clears up by April,” White added. “This fight’s going to happen. No crowd — whatever it takes. [It’s] probably not even going to be in the United States but this fight’s going to happen.”
If UFC 249 doesn’t go down on US soil, its hard to say where it might unfold. That being said, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has an interesting idea: Dubai.
The elder Nurmagomedov made this suggestion in an interview with with RBC Sports.
“Most likely it will be Dubai,” Abdulmanap said of UFC 249 (via MMA Fighting). “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.’
Do you think UFC 249 will end up happening on April 18? If so, where do you think the card and its Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson headliner could end up happening?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/17/2020.