Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated UFC lightweight champion, on Wednesday made it official: He won’t be fighting Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 as has been rumored due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Back home in Russia and unable to leave the country, he also seemed to be speaking directly to Dana White in a rambling Instagram post questioning the UFC president’s insistence on keeping the card alive.
“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,” he wrote. “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?”
The card was initially going to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Apr. 18, but the virus forced it to be moved. It’s unclear where it could be held at the moment, though White has made it clear he still is expecting to find a venue. One thing is for sure: It won’t involve Nurmagomedov.