There’s still a glimmer of hope that we might see Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson fight at UFC 249 on April 18.
Earlier this week, Russia announced new travel restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19. The lightweight champ Nurmagomedov had returned to Russia by that point, meaning he was seemingly stuck in the country and unable to fly to the United States or elsewhere to fight Ferguson on the 18.
In a post to Instagram, Nurmagomedov opened up on this unfortunate twist, adding that he believed the UFC would push on without him and attempt to find Ferguson a new opponent.
“Currently, I am in Dagestan and I am training and preparing every day,” Nurmagomedov said. “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 added.
On Wednesday, however, news surfaced that private flights between Russia and the United States are still possible — even with the new travel restrictions. So, Nurmagomedov could conceivably jump on a private jet at any moment and head to US soil to fight Ferguson after all.
“In order for Khabib to be able to fly to the United States in a private jet, the company whose services he intends to use must obtain permission to fly from Russia and to arrive in the United States,” the Federal Air Transport Agency said to local media via translation (h/t The Mac Life). “There are no restrictions for business aviation on departure from Russia.”
Do you think we’ll end up seeing Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson fight at UFC 249 after all?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/1/2020.