Khabib Nurmagomedov is taking some heat for withdrawing from UFC 249. The UFC lightweight champion was forced out of his title defense after being on lockdown in his native Dagestan during the coronavirus pandemic.
After withdrawing, there was plenty of criticism thrown towards the champion, but wanted to explain why he is no longer fighting.
“My name is Khabib. I am not coronavirus. Dana is Dana. Tony Ferguson is Tony Ferguson. My name is Khabib, but number one thing that make me crazy when people say I pull out or I do something. I no understand this. I still training since December,” Khabib said.
“I train very hard, 9 December. I come (to) U.S. because UFC give me location, New York Barclays Center. I come U.S. I train 40 days, then everything is go crazy. They say U.S.A. 100 percent no fight. Okay. We move to Abu Dhabi, Dubai. Why? Because they told me 99 percent it’s gonna be in Dubai. Like last my training camp, how I did, I come to U.S. I train with Coach Javier in AKA 55 days then we move to Abu Dhabi because fight was in Abu Dhabi. I understand, if Abu Dhabi, no problem. We did this before, we’re gonna do this one more time. We come. They close gate. But this is not my problem. I don’t make mistake. One more time, I wanna say I am Khabib, I’m not coronavirus.”
"I am Khabib. I am not coronavirus."
Nurmagomedov took to Instagram Live to lay out the details of his travel to Russia and express frustration with what he believes is misplaced blame about the status of his fight with Tony Ferguson. (via @TeamKhabib) pic.twitter.com/xRR5zxPLAE
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 2, 2020
Below is the latest on UFC 249.
UFC 249: Fight Time & Viewing Details
Event: UFC 249: Khabib vs. Ferguson
Main Card Card Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+
UFC 249 Fight Card
- TBD vs. Tony Ferguson
- Uriah Hall vs. Ronaldo Souza
- Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas
- Ben Rothwell vs. Gian Villante
- Calvin Kattar vs. Jeremy Stephens
- Ottman Azaitar vs. Khama Worthy
- Sijara Eubanks vs. Sarah Moras
- Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. TBA
- Makhmud Muradov vs. Karl Roberson
- Lyman Good vs. Belal Muhammad
- Hunter Azure vs. Umar Nurmagomedov
- Alexander Hernandez vs. Islam Makhachev
- Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba
*fight card is subject to change