It isn’t just the fans that are upset that the match between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson has once again been postponed. Tony Ferguson is calling Khabib out for what he believes is a cheap move.
Earlier on his Instagram, Khabib (28-0) mentioned how he is quarantining in Russia and will not be able to fight at UFC 249. The UFC Lightweight Champion has been stuck in Russia after traveling there due to the fact that American gyms are closed. As a result of the coronavirus, Russia has banned all international fights, the same as the United States.
“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.”
Ferguson (25-3) went on ESPN and spoke to Ariel Helwani bout the situation. The contender believes Khabib should be stripped of his Lightweight Title. He also believes that Khabib did not do enough to remain on the card scheduled for April 18.
“He obviously knew what he could do to help save this card,” Ferguson said. “He didn’t want to take any of those chances. Everybody is taking risks trying to do it. He bailed out, man. It’s pretty hard to explain, but he bailed out, man.”
The UFC has done everything in its power to keep UFC 249 afloat in the wake of the coronavirus. Justin Gaethje has been rumored to be Khabib’s replacement, but that is only if Ferguson accepts. So far, Ferguson has not accepted. 3-2 in his last five fights, Gaethje does not sound like an opponent Ferguson would be interested in.
"The dude's got a 4-2 record, man… I'm the f—ing champ… It doesn't matter who we have, we're going to try to make this thing go."@TonyFergusonXT responds to @arielhelwani's report of an offer made to fight Justin Gaethje at #UFC249 (via @SportsCenter) pic.twitter.com/NNCnqHZmYG
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 1, 2020
One of the other main issues has been the location of the event. The Nevada and New York Athletic Commission have both barred combat sports from taking place within the states, while other states have just halted events altogether. Groups of 10+ are not allowed together, and Florida’s Governor just issued a stay-at-home mandate.
Ferguson is interested in fighting, as long as a set location is in place.
“We don’t know where the location is at,” Ferguson stated. “I’m not going to say yes or no to an opponent unless we have a location. If we don’t have a location, how do you expect me to prepare?”
The fifth time the fight between Khabib and Ferguson has attempted to be made, UFC 249 joins a long timeline of events that has halted these two from facing one another.