Khabib Nurmagomedov Confirms He's Stuck In Russia, Says UFC 249 Could Move On Without Him
Khabib Nurmagomedov has confirmed that he's stuck in Russia and says UFC 249 could move on without him.
The UFC lightweight champion, 31, has explained why he's returned to Russia amid the coronavirus outbreak, throwing his championship clash with Tony Ferguson into serious doubt.
Speaking on Instagram (via RT Sport), he revealed: "We were training in the AKA without any information regarding the fight, where and how is it going to happen.
Khabib Nurmagomedov just confirmed via Instagram live that he IS IN RUSSIA #UFC249 #COVID #Lockdown pic.twitter.com/Tp2bizIUXr
- Denis Geyko (@DenisGeykoRT) March 30, 2020
"Then the UFC told us that the fight 100% isn't happening in the States. And they said that 99% 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."
"So now I am hearing that they are looking to organize it with or without me. OK, go ahead," he added.
"Everyone should follow the laws. I am not against it, I know that fighters need to feed their families and pay their bills. I know how hard it is for the fighter. Unless they fight they aren't getting any money.
"I am even hearing that they are looking for an opponent for Tony, because he is in the States and I am here in Russia. But I am here not on my own will.
"The UFC told me that this fight 100% isn't happening in the USA, and even if it's not happening in the Emirates it will happen on this side of Atlantic. We discussed everything with the UFC. By that time I already spent 5 weeks of hard training in the AKA.
"Now I don't really know what's going on. It's really hard to train and cut your weight when the whole world is locked down and you don't know what you are preparing for. But it's not the first time I face obstacles in my career."
UFC president Dana White has been hellbent on running UFC 249, but it appears he's been dealt a massive blow as he tries to keep the card intact.
Topics: UFC 249