The so-called ‘cursed’ fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson could be scrapped for a fifth time after the native Russian announced he was stuck at home due to quarantine laws.
Across two decades of staging fights in all corners of the globe — from Kansas to Kazakhstan — UFC president Dana White has seen pretty much every imaginable problem arise. He solved most of them, too.
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“Listen, everyday I get up, it’s crazy,” White told Yahoo Sports late last week. “We always deal with craziness in this sport. Every single day when I get up, we get another curveball thrown at us. It's like, as this thing continues to escalate, it gets crazier and crazier.
“I believe I am one of those people who thrives in chaos and I actually love it,” he continued. “So we’ll see. April 18, we’ll see what I can pull off. We’ll see what I can do.”
Monday, however, brought the biggest dose of “chaos” yet.
Lightweight champion and headlining star Nurmagomedov confirmed on Instagram that he’s stuck in his native Russia, where the borders have been shut.
He won’t be able to make his scheduled fight with challenger Tony Ferguson that, Nurmagomedov revealed, was almost certainly going to be in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates.
“Currently, I am in Dagestan [Russia] and I am training and preparing every day, although I don't know what [I] am preparing for,” Nurmagomedov said, according to a translation from a Russian news site. “After we came to Russia we also learned that the borders are going to be locked. … The whole world is in quarantine right now."
Alternatives for ‘cursed’ Khabib-Ferguson fight
Many people around the world were already sceptical the fight would go ahead considering the current coronavirus epidemic that has shut down nearly all sports.
But this time it appears there might be no possible solution for this fight to go ahead.
Khabib and Ferguson have been scheduled to fight four times before the bouts fell through for various reasons, which has lead to fans claiming the bout is cursed.
So there, apparently, goes the highly anticipated main event. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that the UFC is seeking to have top contender Justin Gaethje step in to fight fellow American Ferguson. Gaethje had been in talks to take on Conor McGregor sometime this summer.
With Dan Wetzel - Yahoo Sport US