Former interim UFC lightweight champion Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson explains why he hasn’t accepted a replacement opponent for UFC 249.
Ferguson was initially scheduled to fight the undisputed UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov at UFC 249 on April 18 in Brooklyn, New York.
The event was put in jeopardy of being cancelled after the state of New York imposed a ban on all “large gatherings”. UFC president Dana White has fought hard to keep the event going and assured the fans that it would go down on April 18 as planned.
With the day of the event nearing fruition, fans are eager to know the status of the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. It was recently reported that Nurmagomedov might be unable to leave his country due to recently imposed travel restrictions amid the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus.
It appeared that things might just work out after Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency revealed that “there are no restrictions for business aviation on departure from Russia”.
Unfortunately, not long after that was reported Khabib Nurmagomedov released a statement on his official Instagram, seemingly announcing his withdrawal from the bout:
“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.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC 249 opponent Tony Ferguson was understandably angry by this announcement, calling for the champion to be stripped from his title.
Fans are eager to know whether Ferguson will be looking for a replacement opponent or choose to wait for Nurmagomedov. Several top UFC lightweight fighters have thrown their name in the hat as potential opponents for Ferguson at UFC 249, including Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier, who said that he would “beat up” Ferguson if they fought.
UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje has also been touted as a potential replacement for Ferguson at UFC 249. Conor McGregor’s head coach at SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh also suggested that his star fighter might step in against Ferguson.
As for Tony Ferguson himself, the lightweight challenger is not interested in accepting a replacement fight until a new location for UFC 249 has been officially announced. He also stated that he would only be interested in 2 potential opponents – Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregror:
“Ferguson to @arielhelwani on why he hasn’t accepted a new foe: “We don’t know where the location is at. I’m not gonna say yes or no to an opponent unless we have a location. If we don’t have a location, how do you expect me to prepare?”
Another Ferguson quote to @arielhelwani : “To me, in my opinion, nobody else deserves that ass whooping except two people: that’s McNuggets and Team Tiramisu. That’s Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.”
At this moment in time no official location for UFC 249 has been announced. Dana White stated that he currently has “four or five” potential locations for the event, although nothing solid has been officially announced at this time.
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov suggested that UFC 249 might be relocated to Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 2nd April, 2020.