Nurmagomedov was scheduled to put his UFC lightweight gold on the line against Ferguson on April 18. The title bout was set to headline UFC 249. Nurmagomedov found himself stuck in Russia as the country is under a travel ban. On top of needing a new location, now the UFC needs a new main event for their card later this month.
McGregor Says Ferguson Beat Khabib In ‘Game Of Chicken’
McGregor took to his Twitter account to respond to the news of Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson being halted yet again.
“I am in shape to fight right now! At the beginning of all this, I said to myself – I’m happy I don’t have an official fight booked. If I did, I would have consumed all the incorrect data to support me taking part in the bout, and I would have followed through, competed. And won.”
“The fact of this matter is, both Tony and Khabib where engaged in a game of chicken here towards the fight bell. With Khabib chickening out first. Making it 3-2 in pullouts in Tony’s favour. Khab scurried out of the U.S to home, and amid the crisis. Very high risk. Congrats Tony.”
Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson has been booked several times now. The bout has yet to come to fruition due to injuries and illnesses on both sides. Justin Gaethje is reportedly the frontrunner to serve as a potential replacement opponent but there’s no guarantee Ferguson takes the last-minute bout.
There’s a lot of uncertainty with the coronavirus pandemic as it is. Even if the crisis were to subside soon, we won’t be having an undisputed UFC lightweight title bout until late summer at the earliest. That’s because Nurmagomedov doesn’t compete during Ramadan.