Tony Ferguson sends message to Khabib as UFC 249 showdown hangs in the balance
Former interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson has accused Khabib Nurmagomedov of running from him. Ferguson was scheduled to challenge the undefeated Russian for the lightweight title in the main event of UFC 249 on April 18, an event which currently doesn’t have a venue due to the coronavirus outbreak.
However, their long-awaited meeting, which has been nearly five years in the making, was thrown into major doubt on Monday after it emerged Nurmagomedov is on lockdown in Russia.
The Russian government implemented a cross-travel ban on Monday, meaning their first UFC and only champion is currently no longer permitted to leave the country.
Ferguson believes Nurmagomedov returned to his homeland in order to avoid their eagerly-anticipated fight, which has fallen through on four separate occasions, and has urged ‘The Eagle’ to stop running from him and do everything in his power to keep the bout alive.
“April 18 is getting close @TeamKhabib & you’re hiding in Russia,” he tweeted.
Travel bans will not prevent me From whoopin’ that a**
Tony Ferguson’s Twitter message to Khabib Nurmagomedov
“Travel bans will not prevent me From whoopin’ that a**.
“Don’t use it as an excuse to back out. You have been sent many locations, send Us 1. Still my b****.”
Nurmagomedov, 31, revealed he was in lockdown during an Instagram live broadcast on Monday morning.
He said: “We were training at (American Kickboxing Academy) without any information regarding the fight – where and how is it going to happen.
“Then the UFC told us that the fight 100 percent isn’t happening in the States. And they said that 99 percent that it will happen in (the United Arab) 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 (March) 19 or 20. I’ll have to check.
“But when we landed in Emirates, we learned that they are going to close (the) borders and no one will be able to leave or fly in with (the) exception of 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.”
Despite the situation looking bleak for the once eagerly-anticipated card, UFC president White is adamant the event will still take place.
During an appearance on Frank Warren’s Heavyweight podcast, White said: “The challenges are that every time I get something figured out, I wake up the next day and the world has completely changed again.
“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*****g changed again.
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*****g relentless and I said that this fight is going to go on and it will.”
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