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Dana White makes it official: Khabib is off UFC 249

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In his latest update on UFC 249, UFC president Dana White confirms that Khabib Nurmagomedov will not be fighting Tony Ferguson as originally planned.

Twitter is a wild, wild place, somehow the only major social media network where you’re still allowed to get yer naked bits out in an uncensored fashion. It’s also home to several trolls and tricksters and grifters who love to prank people, which is exactly what went down today.

It’s a common scam: create an account that’s nearly identical to that of a reputable person and then report some fake news. In this case, someone created a fake Ariel Helwani account with the name @ArielHelvani (note the v instead of the w) and claimed none other than Russian president Vladamir Putin had made a deal with Dana White to open the borders and get Khabib Nurmagomedov to UFC 249, wherever it may be.

Now, of course I didn’t fall for this because I am a genius ... and because I fell for something similar two years ago. Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me twice ... can’t get fooled again. But Dana White did get fooled into dropping some hot info on the status of UFC 249.

”Absolutely NOT true!!! The card is happening but @TeamKhabib is out,” White wrote. “I will announce the entire card tomorrow.”

With there being less than two weeks before UFC 249 is set to go down on April 18, 2020, it’s about time White announced the reconstituted card for the event. And perhaps the location? Truth be told, I don’t really care for myself. But this isn’t a rave in 1997 where you call an infoline 24 hours before the event to get an address. Fighters should have their itinerary ready as soon as possible. They shouldn’t have to worry about being told to get on a plane immediately with no guarantee they can get back home.

The sooner the finalized line-up is announced and everyone knows where they’re going and how, the sooner I’ll start to believe the UFC is actually serious about minimizing the risk everyone has to take putting this event on.

That being said, I’m starting to feel a bit numb to all the failed Coronavirus social distancing going on everywhere. How can I call White an immoral crazy person for forcing this event forward when millions of Americans are still stuck going to work, many in conditions that definitely aren’t safe or even pretending to be safe? We’ve all seen those videos of idiots at the beach or frolicking in the park, undoubtedly messing up our attempts to control the spread of the virus and probably forcing a longer lockdown period for those of us actually following social distancing procedures.

I still think it’s dumb and irresponsible of UFC to be doing this. It’s this belief in exceptionalism the UFC is embodying right now that is the reason we’re going to be stuck in quarantine until June and many more people are going to die. If fighters wanted to do something to lift the spirits of people around the world, they should just stay the f**k at home and be a good example to others. But they’re not the only ones still out there chasing paper, not by a long shot. At this point they’re just adding to the vast statistic of people not following the lockdown for whatever reason, justified or not.