Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson is officially cursed. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UFC lightweight champion says that he will not be able to fly back to the United States in time for UFC 249 — which was set to be headlined by the title fight.
Nurmagomedov is currently on lockdown in Russia after leaving the United States to continue his training in the United Arab Emirates.
According to the champion, he believed the fight would be relocated to the UAE. Unfortunately for Nurmagomedov and everyone who was looking forward to the fight, the UAE closed its borders as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Nurmagomedov shared the news on Instagram Live.
“We were training in the AKA without any information regarding the fight, where and how is it going to happen,” Khabib said, according to RT Sport. “Then the UFC told us that the fight 100% isn’t happening in the States. And they said that 99 percent 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 exception for 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 like in the States, same like in Europe, Emirates, everywhere. The whole world is in quarantine right now.”
Nurmagomedov went on to say that the fight is not going to happen in the United States, but an exact location remains unknown. But while UFC president Dana White continues to insist the event will go on as planned, Nurmagomedov says the UFC is moving forward with plans to hold the event without him.