The Khabib Nurmagomedov-Tony Ferguson fight is in danger of being postponed ... again. Nurmagomedov confirmed he is stuck in Russia and cannot leave the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. UFC is reportedly already looking to replace Nurmagomedov at UFC 249.
Nurmagomedov, 31, cannot leave Russia because the country has closed its borders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson were supposed to headline UFC 249, which was still slated to go on as planned despite every other professional sports league postponing events.
UFC president Dana White has not revealed where UFC 249 will take place yet. The event is scheduled for April 18. UFC 249 was initially expected to be hosted at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but the New York State Athletic Commission canceled the event due to fears of spreading coronavirus.
Ferguson, 36, believes Nurmagomedov is “hiding in Russia” and wants out of the fight.
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
Ferguson has been offered a fight against Justin Gaethje, but that fight has not been agreed upon or finalized, according to Helwani.
If Nurmagomedov cannot get out of Russia, and UFC 249 takes place as planned, it would be the fifth time a fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson has been delayed. The previous four fights were canceled due to injuries and illness.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan has called the matchup “cursed.” Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have never fought.
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