UFC championship belt
UFC championship belt / Pic: Benjamin Cooke / Throwdown Photography

The scheduled for April 18 UFC 249 still has no location. Nevertheless Dana White said earlier this week that he had four or five places to host the event.

The reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) announced today that he won’t be fighting the number one contender Tony Ferguson later this month. “The Eagle” is stuck in Dagestan, Russia due to recently shut borders amid coronavirus outbreak.

Belarus, that is in Union State with Russia was a potential place to host the show. Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap has also recently said that the country is “One of the best options” to accommodate UFC 249.

Yet, as of March 16, the border between Russia and Belarus appears to be closed due to coronavirus. As a result, Nurmagomedov has no option but to stay home.

Union State understands that citizens of both countries, Belarus and Russia, have the right to travel and live freely within the territory of the other country. In the current circumstance caused by COVID-19 pandemic this does not seem to be the case.

Tony Ferguson (25-3) reacted to the news of Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal saying that “The Eagle” should be stripped of his title.

“The guy does not want to fight. He’s scared, he’s running, he should be stripped of his title,” Tony Ferguson said in a SportsCenter interview with Ariel Helwani.

UFC 249 is still scheduled for April 18 (April 19 AEDT). It was previously reported that Justin Gaethje (21-2) was offered a short notice fight against “El Cucuy”.

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