Khabib Nurmagomedov declares himself out of UFC 249 main event

MMAWeekly.com Staff
Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC 242 weigh-in scrum in Abu Dhabi

Though there appeared to be a glimmer of hope that Khabib Nurmagomedov would be able to leave Russia and keep his fight with Tony Ferguson intact, it now appears that he has resigned himself to the fact that he will not be fighting on April 18.

UFC president Dana White is trying to jump all the necessary hurdles to keep UFC 249 intact in some form or fashion on April 18, reportedly even without Nurmagomedov after Russia closed its borders to international travel. The sliver of hope was that Russia had not yet stopped all private business travel, but that hasn't persuaded Nurmagomedov to try and travel during the current covid-19 crisis.

Nurmagomedov on Wednesday posted to his Instagram account, saying:

"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."

With Nurmagomedov out, UFC officials have focused on revamping the UFC 249 fight card with Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier leading candidates to potentially face Ferguson or even each other.

But with restrictions tightening every day, it is going to be difficult for White to get UFC 249 to the finish line on April 18.

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