Since confirming his withdrawal on Wednesday, Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) has received the most criticism from fans, as well as from Ferguson (25-3 MMA, 15-1 UFC), for a fifth cancellation of the match. between rivals. UFC 249 was scheduled to take place on April 18 in Brooklyn, New York, but the coronavirus pandemic caused a mad rush to find a new location for the map while keeping the same date.
The situation seems increasingly grim, which prompted Nurmagomedov to unplug the plug while it was locked in Russia, where travel inside and outside the country was banned. The days end quickly until April 18, and with the global situation getting worse by the day, Nurmagomedov said he had not received any good response from the UFC as to what was going on.
“No one knows where it is, but everyone wants me to fly somewhere,” Nurmagomedov said on Instagram Live on Thursday. ” I do not understand this. The UFC attempted to find a location (almost a month ago); they do not find. And me? It’s my mistake? The UFC does not send us a position. Where are we going to fight? I have no location; that’s why I’m not going to fight.
“Where are we going to fight?” Nobody talks about it. Everyone is now at home and trying to find someone (to blame). They have to put pressure on someone because people are bored. Closed soccer, closd hockey, NFL, NBA, soccer, Olympics, European Championships – everything is closed. Now Tony against Khabib, it may be closed too. Now they have to push someone. “
Nurmagomedov’s decision to withdraw from UFC 249 did not come about on a whim, he said. He originally came to San Jose in late February to finish his training camp at the American Kickboxing Academy when he thought he was going to fight in New York. But when the COVID-19 threat began to spread, he began to discuss alternatives with the UFC.
According to Nurmagomedov, he was told that there was a “0%” chance that he would fight in the United States and that there was a “99%” chance that it would happen in the Middle East. So he went to this part of the world, to run into several additional roadblocks.
“We left San Jose. We landed in Dubai. We landed at 8 p.m. at night, ”says Nurmagomedov. “They say (at) 12 o’clock that they close the door. We tried to enter, but it was impossible. They say it’s impossible. Then I say, “Okay, whatever happens, we’re going to go to Dagestan and continue training.” After Dubai, we arrive in Daguestan and continue to train. Right now, I’m finishing my training. Every day, I train and wait for the place, but they don’t send me.
“All (airport doors) closed. The Russian door is closed, the American door is closed – everywhere is closed. Everyone is sitting at home – the government, famous people, even Dana (White). Where’s Dana? Everyone stays at home. Everyone in quarantine. All governments, all presidents, all famous people. Everyone says, “Please stay at home” because people are dying every day. Thousands die. The first country now is the United States. “
Given all of these circumstances, Nurmagomedov believes he is being unfairly targeted. He wanted to fight Ferguson as badly as everyone wanted to finally see him, but reiterated that there is no confirmed place or host city, and therefore he could have “withdrawn” from an event that did not wouldn’t even exist.
“My name is Khabib. I am not a coronavirus, “said Nurmagomedov. “My name is not a coronavirus. Dana is Dana. Tony Ferguson is Tony Ferguson. My name is Khabib, but what drives me crazy is that people say that I am withdrawing or that I am doing something. I do not understand that. I’ve been training since December, I’ve been training really hard since December. I (came) to the United States because the UFC (gave me) a location in New York. I come to the United States, I train 40 days. Then when everything went crazy, they say, the United States doesn’t fight 100%. We are moving to Dubai. Why? They told me that 99 percent was going to be in Dubai.
“My last training camp, I come to the United States, I train with the coach (Javier Mendez) for 55 days, then we move to Abu Dhabi because the fight was in Abu Dhabi. I understand. Okay, if it’s not Abu Dhabi, no problem. We did it before we could do it again. We come, and they close the door, but that’s not my problem. I’m not wrong. Once again, I mean that I am Khabib; I am not a coronavirus. “
At this point, there is no certainty as to what will happen next. The UFC has already postponed its next three events, and it appears that UFC 249 and a number of track cards are also hanging on a wire.
Nurmagomedov however wants to fight Ferguson at the next available opportunity. The champion will observe Ramadan at the end of this month, but has said he may be free to compete in August or September, assuming the coronavirus pandemic is under control.
“I hear the work of the UFC on (doing) a show in San Francisco in August,” said Nurmagomedov. “This one is very good. Maybe in August it’s all over, but nobody knows. I hear they are going to do a show in mid-September in Abu Dhabi. Maybe I do not know. Otherwise, they will not be able to do a show after Ramadan which will take place in August. But even now in the United States, no one knows when it will drop. “