Days after Tony Ferguson called for Khabib Nurmagomedov to be stripped of the lightweight championship for pulling out of their UFC 249 showdown, the champ is apparently ready to any location in the world to make the bout happen.
Nurmagomedov left the United States to travel to the UAE, where it was assumed UFC 249 would take place. He was eventually re-routed to Russia due to travel restrictions and acknowledged he is under quarantine in an Instagram post. But after UFC president Dana White claimed “everyone knew” Nurmagomedov would not fight, the unbeaten champ pushed back and said he’s “100 percent” willing to fight in two weeks if White gives him a location.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) saying he never said he was out of 249, he just isn’t going to fly anywhere when he doesn’t know where he’s flying to. He also doesn’t believe getting out of Russia is as simple as others suggest. pic.twitter.com/pf5RSiwemG
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 2, 2020
“Right now, if they give me location and I can come out from Russia and I can go to any country,” Nurmagomedov said, per Yahoo! Sports. “U.S., Abu Dhabi, doesn’t matter. I’m going to fight, 100 percent. Just give me location. Every day, I send Dana White a message. ‘Hey, where’s my location.’ This is not my mistake.”
Nurmagomedov later told ESPN if the fight doesn’t happen as planned, he’d like it to be rebooked as early as August as he prepares to observe a fasting period for the month of Ramadan. Nurmagomedov also said he wouldn’t care if the UFC created an interim title in the event he doesn’t fight at UFC 249, potentially opening the door for Justin Gaethje to take his place and square off with Ferguson.
Should this be cancelled, it would mark the fifth time a scheduled Nurmagomedov-Ferguson tilt hasn’t gone through as planned.