Morning report: Dana White takes responsibility for missing Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC 249


The past few months have been tumultuous for Dana White and the UFC. After canceling three events in March due to COVID-19, White remained adamant that UFC 249 would take place as scheduled on April 18. The UFC has spent a considerable amount of time proving that white people are real, changing locations, changing fights, implementing heightened security protocols on the fly and struggling to respond to the ever-changing problems that occur when trying to organize a live sporting event during a global pandemic. In the end, although the event was postponed for a few weeks. UFC 249 will actually take place this weekend, but despite its success in keeping UFC 249 alive, the event took a major toll: UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was removed from the card.

Nurmagomedov was supposed to defend his title against Tony Ferguson in UFC 249, in one of the most anticipated fights in the sport. Instead, according to Khabib, a series of communications outages led him to become trapped in Russia, unable to leave the country due to restrictions related to coronaviruses. Khabib’s withdrawal from UFC 249 has provoked violent reactions in the community, in particular from his alleged opponent Tony Ferguson who claims that Nurmagomedov is “short” and should be stripped of his title. But Dana White disagrees. In fact, speaking with BT Sport on Thursday, the president of the UFC supported his champion and took responsibility for the situation.

“I’m sure you’ve seen it today, Khabib posted:” Hey, as soon as Ramadan is over, I’m ready to go, “said White. “There were a lot of questions about Khabib, people said” Oh, he was trapped in Russia “or something; what he said is absolutely true. None of us saw what was happening and how fast it was changing and the world was literally changing from day to day. We all made bad decisions that got him stuck in Moscow. It wasn’t just him, we all did it. I also take responsibility for it.

“It happened, and you know what we get out of it?” We have Gaethje against Ferguson, which is going to be absolutely ridiculous. “

When it comes to consolation fights, it’s hard to beat Tony Ferguson against Justin Gaethje. The interim lightweight title fight will kick off an ambitious schedule for the UFC next month, which plans to hold two more events next week and then continue to host regular events. If the UFC can do it, it will essentially make it the only game in town because the rest of the sports world completely shut down during the global pandemic. And that’s one of the reasons White said he was so adamant about resuming the fight because he wants to be the one to lead the way.

“I imagine live sports are watching us right now saying,” Let’s see how it goes for them and maybe we will take some risks, “said White. “No one ever wants to take risks. No one really wants to be the first. No one wants to take responsibility for being the first. My team, my athletes, we are built for this shit. “

UFC 249 takes place on Saturday at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. In the main event, Tony Ferguson will face Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title, with the winner facing undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov later this year.

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It’s fight weekend! We haven’t been able to say that for a long time. Enjoy it all.

Thanks for reading, stay safe and see you all on Monday.


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