Undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov wasn’t impressed by Tony Ferguson saying that he should be stripped from his title.
The pair were supposed to fight at UFC 249 on April 18. After a lot of issues surrounding the event due to the current worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, the fight appears to no longer be on.
Khabib Nurmagomedov was apparently stranded in Russia after the country imposed new travel restrictions amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak. There was a glimmer of hope after Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency stated that “there are no restrictions for business aviation on departure from Russia.”
Not long after the news were reported, Nurmagomedov issued a statement on his Instagram seemingly withdrawing from the fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249:
“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.” Khabib Nurmagomedov wrote.
Following the announcement by Nurmagomedov, his opponent, Tony Ferguson called for Nurmagomedov to be stripped from his title. The lightweight champion recently addressed Ferguson’s request, calling him a “stupid guy”:
“My reaction is the same as [the] press conference, he’s just a stupid guy. Okay, strip me if this is my mistake. Like last time, April 2018, it was his mistake,” Nurmagomedov said.
“Right now, this is not Khabib mistake, this is coronavirus. This is two different things. I am not coronavirus, coronavirus is coronavirus, Khabib is Khabib, this is not the same. Separate, this is different, completely different. It’s like, I don’t know man.”
Nurmagomedov also stated that he would be happy for UFC 249 to go without him so that other fighters are still able to earn money:
“Of course. If they want to make [a] show, let’s go. A lot of people want to fight because they don’t have money. They don’t have money, they have kids, they have family, they have like so many things,” Nurmagomedov explained. “Of course, I’m not going to say no. If they can, let’s go. I know Dana tries very hard.”
Fans want to know whether Tony Ferguson will remain on the UFC 249 card and accept a replacement opponent. Some potential replacements for Ferguson have been named, including UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier, who actually said that he would “beat up” Ferguson if they fought at UFC 249.
Conor McGregor’s coach at SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh recently hinted that the Irishman could step in and face Ferguson at UFC 249.
As for Ferguson himself, he recently explained that at this point, he would only be interested in accepting accepting a fight against 2 men – Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 3rd April, 2020.