Early on Monday morning, UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov announced that he is stranded in Russia due to the country’s new travel bans, thrusting his fight with Tony Ferguson into jeopardy.
“We were training in the AKA without any information regarding the fight, where and how is it going to happen,” Nurmagomedov stated on Instagram, updating on the status of his fight Ferguson. “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 added. “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.”
It did not take long for Tony Ferguson to react to his foe being stuck in Russia. He doesn’t seem willing to let the matchup go just yet.
April 18 Is Getting Close @TeamKhabib & You’re Hiding In Russia. Travel Bans Will Not Prevent Me From Whoopin’ That Ass. Don’t Use It As An Excuse To Back Out. You Have Been Sent Many Locations, Send Us 1. Still My Bitch #DefendorVacate MF ⚾️ -CSO- 🇺🇸🏆🇲🇽 #ufc249 @ufc @danawhite pic.twitter.com/TVQH4mnG2e
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) March 30, 2020
“April 18 Is Getting Close @TeamKhabib & You’re Hiding In Russia. Travel Bans Will Not Prevent Me From Whoopin’ That Ass. Don’t Use It As An Excuse To Back Out. You Have Been Sent Many Locations, Send Us 1. Still My Bitch #DefendorVacate MF ⚾️ -CSO- 🇺🇸🏆🇲🇽” – Tony Ferguson on Twitter.
What do you think will come of the long-awaited Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/30/2020.