Khabib Nurmagomedov has issued a statement in which he confirms that due to the coronavirus pandemic and the current lockdown around the world he will not fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18th.
“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?
“– 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.”
It’s hard to argue with Nurmagomedov here. It is a lot to ask him to risk his own health and those of the people around him just for a fight, while he would also likely face a potentially damaging backlash from the media and other sources for defying the rules and safety measures implemented by so many countries around the world to help combat this crisis.
Nonetheless, for MMA fans it certainly is a disappointment that this match-up has now fallen through for the fifth time, but under these exceptionally trying circumstances it is completely understandable.