The headaches surrounding putting on the UFC 249 card on April 18th have continued today with Khabib Nurmagomedov revealing that he will probably not be fighting Tony Ferguson after all due to the fact that he’s stuck in Russia as the coronavirus lockdown continues.
Now ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that the UFC may already be taking steps to find a replacement by drafting in Justin Gaethje instead to fight Ferguson.
Gaethje is currently ranked No.4 in the division and is coming off a strong three-fight winning streak that has seen him KO both James Vick and Edson Barboza in the first round, and then most recently TKO Donald Cerrone in the first five minutes too.
He’s never crossed paths with Ferguson before however, with the current No.1 contender having managed to stay undefeated in 12 fights against a who’s who of the division, including Rafael dos Anjos, Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone in his last four outings.
This would undoubtedly be a great fight between two all-action lightweight stars, but given that it’s being hastily arranged and could put in jeopardy the eventual chance to put on the Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson fight everyone wants to see, not to mention the likelihood of a media backlash that’s likely to come from putting on a sporting event in the middle of a coronavirus shutdown, questions have to be asked if this is really such a good idea.