Dana White Adamant Khabib Vs Ferguson Will Happen At UFC 249
Dana White is desperate to find a way for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson to happen at UFC 249 on April 18.
The lucrative bout is in danger of being nixed for an incredible FIFTH time due to the coronavirus outbreak and the fact that undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib is currently in his native Russia and cannot exit the country.
'The Eagle' is trying as normal but has given UFC his blessing to run the event, originally scheduled to take place in the Barclays Center, without him in the main event.
April 18 Is Getting Close @TeamKhabib & You're Hiding In Russia. Travel Bans Will Not Prevent Me From Whoopin' That Ass. Don't Use It As An Excuse To Back Out. You Have Been Sent Many Locations, Send Us 1. Still My Bitch #DefendorVacate MF :baseball: -CSO- :flag_us::trophy::flag_mx: #ufc249 @ufc @danawhite pic.twitter.com/TVQH4mnG2e
- Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) March 30, 2020
However, after seeing the hugely anticipated fight cancelled on four separate occasions, White is not giving up just yet.
"The challenges are that every time I get something figured out, I wake up the next day and the world has completely changed again," the UFC president told Frank Warren's Heavyweight Podcast.
"Everything that I work hard on the day before, me and my crew, has now fallen apart. It literally just happened to us again today. I woke up today and Khabib Nurmagomedov is in Russia and they just shut down all travel in and out of Russia.
"I woke up this morning and the whole world f****** changed again," he continued. "So back to the drawing board and we're figuring this out right now as we're speaking right now, I have people working on this thing as we speak.
"Listen, I am absolutely f****** relentless and I said that this fight is going to go on and it will."
That being said White is believed to have a back-up plan which would see No.4 ranked lightweight Justin Gaethje, part of the same management team as Khabib, square off against Ferguson.
Gaethje, 21-2, was a leading candidate to face Conor McGregor for his comeback fight before the Irishman made quick work of Donald Cerrone.
According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, there is no word on location for the event at this stage.