UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at press conference
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at press conference | Pic: Instagram/ khabib_nurmagomedov

The fifth booking of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson fight falls off, as “The Eagle” confirms he won’t be fighting at UFC 249. The contest was scheduled to headline the pay-per-view fight card on April 19 (AEDT) at the location that is still expected to be announced. The promotion is yet to make an official announcement about the cancellation of the bout.

The reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) posted a message on Instagram, advising his fans that he had to withdraw from UFC 249. “The Eagle” was forced to make a decision amid a global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, that led to restrictions on mass gatherings, cancellation of original venue – Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY – and international travel ban. He is currently in Dagestan, Russia with the recently shut borders.

“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?” Khabib Nurmagomedov wrote.

“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.”

UFC President Dana White has worked hard, aspiring to proceed with UFC 249 as planned. He previously said that he had four or five locations to potentially host the pay-per-view fight card (Belarus could be one of them) on the scheduled date of April 18 (Apr. 19 AEDT).

The Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson have been previously booked four times from 2015 to 2018. Each time the fight was cancelled due to weight cut issues and injuries to both competitors.

At this stage it is unclear if the number one lightweight contender Tony Ferguson (25-3) still partakes in UFC 249. Earlier this week it was reported that “El Cucuy” was offered to face Justin Gaethje (21-2), who could potentially take the fight on a short notice.

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