After weeks of back-and-forth, Khabib Nurmagomedov has officially pulled out of UFC 249, announcing on Wednesday on Instagram that he is at home in quarantine and would not be fighting during the COVID-19 outbreak.
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. –
The news comes after Nurmagomedov left the United States to travel to the UAE, where it was assumed UFC 249 would take place. He was eventually re-routed to Russia due to travel restrictions, putting his lightweight title defense in jeopardy.
With Nurmagomedov out of the picture, Tony Ferguson is calling for the champ to be stripped of his title because he’s “scared and running,” the challenger said in an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
“He obviously knew what he could do to help save this card,” Ferguson said. “He didn’t want to take any of those chances. Everybody is taking risks trying to do it. He bailed out, man. It’s pretty hard to explain, but he bailed out, man.”
Justin Gaethje has been floated as a potential opponent for Ferguson, but that deal has yet to be agreed upon. Gaethje is on a three-fight win streak, with victories over Edson Barboza and most recently, Donald Cerrone.
This is the fifth time a Nurmagomedov-Ferguson tilt has been canceled.