Khabib Nurmagomedov Stuck in Russia Due to Coronavirus Travel Restrictions, Tony Ferguson Fight Might Be Off

It looks like the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight might be pushed back once again. On Monday, Nurmagomedov took to Instagram Live and confirmed he was back home in Dagestan, Russia. However, he can't leave the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to travel restrictions all over the world. This means he can't fight Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18.

"We were training at (American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California) without any information regarding the fight -- where and how is it going to happen," he said via ESPN. "Then the UFC told us that the fight 100 percent isn't happening in the States. And they said that 99 percent that it will happen in (the United Arab) Emirates -- Abu Dhabi.

"After talking to the UFC, we decided to fly over to the Emirates a month before the fight. I don't remember the exact date -- it was (March) 19 or 20. I'll have to check. But when we landed in Emirates, we learned that they are going to close (the) borders and no one will be able to leave or fly in with (the) exception of residents.

"So, we had to fly back to Russia. Currently, I am in Dagestan and I am training and preparing every day, although I don't know what am I preparing for, because after we came to Russia we also learned that the borders are going to be locked. Same like in the States, same like in Europe, Emirates -- everywhere. The whole world is in quarantine right now."

With Nurmagomedov not being able to leave, does this mean UFC 249 is off? ESPN reports UFC is still looking to have UFC 249 on April 18, but the company has now started to look for alternate plans. Ferguson has been offered to fight Justin Gaethje, but that fight has not been agreed upon. Nurmagomedov said UFC was looking at booking another opponent for Ferguson.


"I am even hearing that they are looking for an opponent for Tony, because he is in the States and I am here in Russia. But I am here not on my own will. The UFC told me that this fight 100 percent isn't happening in the USA, and even if it's not happening in the Emirates, it will happen on this side of (the) Atlantic. We discussed everything with the UFC. By that time, I already spent five weeks of hard training at AKA."

Nurmagomedov is the current UFC Lightweight Champion. He has a 28-0 record, and his last match was back in September who he defeated Dustin Poirer at UFC 242.