KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV is definitely out of UFC 249 after Dana White has confirmed that Tony Ferguson will face Justin Gaethje on April 18.
The undefeated lightweight champion got stuck in Russia due to a coronavirus lockout.
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This is now the fifth time that a scheduled match between Khabib and Inter-Country champion Ferguson has failed.
Speaking to social media, UFC president Dana White announced that Ferguson will now face Gaethje in the main event, with the bout to take place in an undisclosed location.
Posting a statement on his Twitter and Instagram account, he said, ” The fight is signed and is 100% LIVE on ESPN somewhere on EARTH !!!!
“@Tonyfergusonxt vs @justin_gaethje is LIVE on @ espn + PPV on April 18 for the provisional light belt! “
Fans were quick to comment on the new game, as one said, “Glad there is a card. Not the most exciting fight but appreciate the effort that has been made to keep us entertained. “
Another commented: “Cancel UFC 249.”
A third added, “I still wish it would just be postponed for a few months.”
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One of them simply said, “We are never going to see Tony-Khabib now. Sorry to all true combat fans … “
Ferguson has won 12 straight fights since losing to Michael Johnson in May 2012, while Gaethje has won three straight knockout victories after losing to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier.
The complete bill for UFC 249 has now been announced, with the main co-event Jessica Andrade against Rose Namajunas II unchanged with a host of new fights.