Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the two were scheduled to compete in a highly-anticipated lightweight title fight at UFC 249 on April 18. However, on Monday it was revealed that Nurmagomedov was stuck in Russia because of a cross-border travel ban.
There was some hope earlier today as it was revealed that “The Eagle” could still travel to the United States on a private flight. But that was short-lived as Nurmagomedov took to social media to announce that the fight was officially off while adding that he should have no special privileges.
“Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine, governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight?
“I understand everything and I’m definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight, probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I can’t control it all. The greatest countries and the largest companies of our time are shocked by what is happening, every day the situation changes unpredictably. But Khabib still has to fight, is that what you saying? – Take care of yourself and put yourself in my shoes.”
The plan will now seemingly be to get Ferguson an alternate opponent. Justin Gaethje has already reportedly been offered to “El Cucuy” while Dustin Poirier is also willing to step up to the plate.
It ultimately depends on whether all parties can agree to it — especially Ferguson.