Dana White Says He Takes Responsibility For Khabib’s UFC 249 Absence

Khabib Dana White
Image Credit: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

UFC president Dana White is taking responsibility for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s travel snafu.

Nurmagomedov was scheduled to put his UFC lightweight gold on the line against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. The event had to switch location as the state of New York shut down large gatherings in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurmagomedov was told that the event would be moved to Abu Dhabi, so he traveled to Dubai. Upon landing, “The Eagle” was informed that Dubai would be under lockdown. The UFC lightweight champion decided to travel back home to Russia, where he learned a travel ban was being implemented.

Dana White Owns Up To Khabib’s Travel Situation

Ultimately, UFC 249 got pushed back to May 9 and will take place in Jacksonville, Florida. Speaking to BT Sport, White said that he takes responsibility for the Khabib situation (h/t MMAFighting.com).

“I’m sure you saw today, Khabib posted, ‘Hey, as soon as Ramadan is over, I’m ready to roll,’” White said. “There was a lot of questioning Khabib, people were saying ‘Oh he got trapped in Russia’ or whatever; what he said is absolutely true. None of us saw coming what happened and how fast it was rapidly changing and the world was literally changing by the day. We all made some bad decisions that got him stuck in Moscow. It wasn’t just him, we all did. I take responsibility for that too.

“It happened, and you know what we get out of that? We get Gaethje versus Ferguson, which is gonna be absolutely ridiculous.”

Ferguson and Justin Gaethje will collide for the interim UFC lightweight title. The action is being held inside the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. Fans will not be allowed in the building.

Be sure to stick with MMA News this weekend for live coverage of UFC 249. We’ll have you covered with live results, highlights, and post-fight tidbits. You can peep the weigh-in results here and our main card predictions here.