Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, told the mixed martial arts (MMA) community that he was under quarantine in Dagestan and unable to participate in the UFC 249 pay-per-view (PPV) main event.
“The Eagle” was forced to leave California early last week when the governor ordered a shelter-in-place, but was turned away when he flew to United Arab Emirates (UAE) in anticipation of a Dubai title fight opposite Tony Ferguson.
Apparently Nurmagomedov was supposed to just fly around the world indefinitely until the promotion was able to find a new location for his April 18 headliner. That still hasn’t happened and yet somehow his critics want him to charter a private jet to circumvent Russia’s no-fly rule.
“I don’t have location,” Nurmagomedov said on Instagram Live (transcribed by Damon Martin). “Give me location. Where are we going to fight? Nobody talks about this... I come to U.S. because UFC give me location, New York, Barclays Center. I come to U.S., I train 40 days, then when everything goes crazy, they say U.S. is 100 percent no fight.”
With Ramadan right around the corner, we may not see Khabib again until August.
“We talk about where we going to fight,” Nurmagomedov continued. “U.S., Europe, Emirates, Asia, whatever, but nobody knows location, but everybody wants [me to] fly somewhere. UFC don’t show us location. Where we going to fight? I don’t understand this. The UFC tried to find a location [for] almost one month. They don’t find. What about me? This is my mistake?”
UFC President Dana White is expected to stage UFC 249 in some capacity on April 18, but to date, has not provided a city or venue for his athletes to prepare for. He also promised to keep the media in the dark until everything is finalized.