Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coach Javier Mendez has shot down talk that Khabib Nurmagomedov purposefully ducked his UFC 249 title fight with Tony Ferguson, which was scheduled to take place on April 18th, but was eventually shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic just days after the lightweight champion withdrew from the bout.
“He didn’t choose to sit it out,” Mendez said during a Youtube Q&A. “He just went back home and he was waiting and training and waiting for a location.
“So he didn’t choose to sit out anything. They couldn’t give him a location and then he couldn’t get permission.
“He wasn’t gonna be able to get permission, so he didn’t really sit anything out. He didn’t get permission and he didn’t get the location and now we know why he didn’t get the location because of fear of it leaking out.
“Because it leaked out, now look, there is no show.
“He did absolutely the right thing when he was told to go to Abu Dhabi because the show more likely was going to be there, and then he would go home from there if that didn’t work out, but that was the plan, and then train at home and then see what happens.”
Truth be told though, while this all seems perfectly reasonable, even if Nurmagomedov had decided that it was safer to just stay at home rather than put himself and others at risk by flying out of Russia to fight in the midst of one of the most unprecedented natural disasters in recent history, that would still be nothing to be ashamed of.
‘The Eagle’ has proven time and time again how tough he is in the Octagon, and so it would be laughable to even think of questioning his strength of character or willingness to fight Ferguson.