Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal from UFC 249

Conor McGregor has labelled Khabib Nurmagomedov a 'chicken' after the Russian pulled out of a scheduled fight with Tony Ferguson.

The pair were due to face-off at UFC 249 on April 18 in New York, but the event has been blighted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw after becoming stranded in his native Russia on lockdown, with the US shutting their borders in a bid to quell the pandemic.

It is the fifth occasion that a proposed bout between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson has collapsed, and McGregor was quick to aim a jibe at his long-term rival.

"The fact of this matter is, both Tony and Khabib where engaged in a game of chicken here towards the fight bell," McGregor wrote on Twitter. "With Khabib chickening out first. Making it 3-2 in pullouts in Tony’s favour.

"Khab scurried out of the U.S to home, and amid the crisis. Very high risk. Congrats Tony."

McGregor had been mooted as one of the name's to potentially step in to replace Nurmagomedov, after his trainer John Kavanagh dropped a hint on social media.

Kavanagh suggested McGregor was an option, but it is more likely that Justin Gaethje will be handed the Ferguson fight instead.

UFC president Dana White is still keen for the event to go ahead despite the rising threat of coronavirus in New York.

The New York Athletic State Commission have already ruled that the Barclays Center will not stage the fight, leaving White needing to arrange a new location.

White has been slammed this week by Tyson Fury's promoter Bob Arum for his negligence in pressing ahead with the event.

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