Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will surely do everything in its power to stage the upcoming lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 next month, but everything remains up in the air due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier this week, UFC president Dana White confirmed the promotion will be changing venues for the upcoming UFC on ESPN 8 and UFC Fight Night 172 events. This weekend’s UFC Fight Night 170 card in Brasilia, Brazil, will go on as planned behind closed doors, while next weekend’s stopover in London for UFC Fight Night 171 will also be staying put.
Despite all of these announcements, White has yet to speak on the upcoming UFC 249 pay-per-view (PPV) event set for April 18th in Brooklyn, New York. That card is currently scheduled to feature a lightweight title fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson. It is the fifth time the 155-pound scrap has been scheduled before, with the other four bouts falling through due to illnesses, bad weight cuts, and unexpected injuries.
With everything going on in “The Big Apple” — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a statewide ban on public gatherings over 500 people earlier this week — UFC 249 seems to be in jeopardy moving forward.
Nurmagomedov, who will be making his third-straight UFC lightweight title defense at UFC 249, recently took to Instagram to share his thoughts on the potential fallout:
View this post on Instagram
Я вообще не понимаю, что происходит за пределами зала, у меня такая же информация как и у всех. Я в зале и я готовлюсь, что будет дальше ни кто не знает. - I don’t understand what is going on outside the gym. I am in the gym and I am working hard. What will happen next no one knows. #ufc249 #ufcBrooklyn #andstill @frujuice_athletics
“I don’t understand what is going on outside the gym. I am in the gym and I am working hard. What will happen next no one knows,” wrote Khabib.
For now, UFC 249 remains up in the air. After President Donald Trump issued a state of emergency earlier today for the coronavirus pandemic it’s difficult to say how things will turn out for the sports world moving forward, especially for an event taking place in Brooklyn. At the very least, UFC may have to move Khabib vs. Ferguson to Las Vegas like some of the other events this month.
What say you, Maniacs? Where do you think we end up with Khabib vs. Ferguson?
Stick with Mania for ongoing updates regarding UFC 249.