Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, is confident the scheduled lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, which was set to go down at UFC 249 on April 18, 2020, in Brooklyn, N.Y., will indeed go down. That’s a confident statement, considering the promotion recently postponed its next three events because of the coronavirus pandemic. But if UFC 249 has to go down in another country and behind closed doors, then so be it.
Now, Khabib is chiming in on the situation, saying that he prefers the fight to go down on United States soil since he’s already in the country, and traveling elsewhere could prove difficult.
“I don’t understand nothing, just training and I need location. I don't know and I don’t care. It’s going to be good if fight happen in US because I am here already,” Khabib said on Instagram. “We have like 30 day before fight and it is going to be very good if we fight in U.S. But if not, any place. I don’t care.”
It’s well-documented that this fight has been booked and canceled four times previously, which has broken the hearts of fight fans around the world. That said, it has also added to the anticipation, which could make the payoff that much sweeter if it ever comes to pass.
Furthermore, it’s a fight Nurmagomedov wants to give other contenders currently waiting in line a shot at the title.
“I hope fight happens because this is an important fight because lightweight division have to move. Right now we have couple of guys, six, seven win streak, a lot of contenders now. I don’t want to hold lightweight division,” he added while saying he’s been in touch with White and a location for the bout could be coming soon.
“We have to fight Tony Ferguson and we have to know who is next contender. This is very important, for UFC and for lightweight division, that’s why I really want to fight with him. I think next couple days, I talked to Dana, he say they are going to do everything they can to keep this fight. Next couple of days, Dana is going to send location.”
Trying to stage any fight stateside has proven difficult for UFC, as many states are imposing bans on people attending sporting events. And with a possible nationwide shutdown looming because of the coronavirus outbreak, it will only get tougher.
For Khabib, the health of everyone is priority No. 1, but still hopes that UFC can somehow get at the minimum 100 healthy people to file into an arena to watch the fight. That will prove to be a tough task, especially after President Trump suggested that everyone avoid gatherings of 10 or more people to flatten the infected curve.
That means despite everyone’s hopes to finally see this match up take place, the chances of seeing it by April are pretty slim unless White and Co. can use their reach to convince another country to play host.
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