UFC 249 latest: Khabib vs Tony Ferguson to be cancelled for a FIFTH time with ‘The Eagle’ under quarantine in Russia

Khabib Nurmagomedov has told the UFC to organise the main event of UFC 249 ‘with or without me’ after being denied entry to the USA.

After learning his lightweight title fight with ‘El Cucuy’ was not going to be at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 18, the champion returned to his native Russia.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently stuck in his home country of Russia
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However, President Dana White was adamant the fight would still go ahead, insisting particulars of the deal were ’99.9 per cent done’ on a last-minute move to save the card.

But the 31-year-old appeared to rule out travelling in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“So now I am hearing that they are looking to organise it with or without me. OK, go ahead,” said Khabib, via Instagram Live on Monday morning.

“I am even hearing that they are looking for an opponent for Tony, because he is in the States and I am here in Russia. But I am here not on my own will.

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Khabib vs Tony Ferguson was set to happen on April 18
Getty Images – Getty

“The UFC told me that this fight 100% isn’t happening in the USA, and even if it’s not happening in the Emirates it will happen on this side of Atlantic. We discussed everything with the UFC.

“Now I don’t really know what’s going on. It’s really hard to train and cut your weight when the whole world is locked down and you don’t know what you are preparing for. But it’s not the first time I face obstacles in my career.”

The 28-0 star has notoriously struggled with weight cuts throughout his career as he drains his body down to the 155lbs limit.

However, he insisted he was still training and managing his weight from his home in Dagestan.

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Ferguson is seen by many as the only man who can beat the lightweight champion
Getty Images – Getty

“I am training and preparing every day,” he added. “Although I don’t know what am I preparing for.

“Because after we came to Russia we also learned that the borders are going to be locked.

“Same like in the States, same like in Europe, Emirates, everywhere. The whole world is in quarantine right now.”

After cancelling UFC London on March 21, it seemed as though Dana White was adamant this fight was going to happen.

The organisation has booked this match on four occasions in the last five years, only for it to fall apart for various different reasons.

In 2015, Khabib suffered a broken rib and even contemplated retiring if his body did not make a complete recovery. A year later, Ferguson pulled out of UFC on Fox owing to a lung issue.

The pair continued to enhance their reputations as the best fighters for their respective division and an interim title fight at UFC 209 was cancelled at the 11th hour as Khabib suffered weight cut issues.

And their undisputed lightweight title fight at UFC 223 in Brooklyn was cancelled after Ferguson fell over a cable in a television studio and was forced to undergo knee surgery.

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