UFC 249 news: Khabib Nurmagomedov confirms he's stuck in Russia

  • Alex Batt

Khabib Nurmagomedov has confirmed he IS in Russia despite UFC 249 scheduled for April 18, and it now appears that he will be stuck there due to countries going into lockdown.

The Eagle took to his official Instagram story to discuss his moves and current situation, with a cloud of uncertainty still hanging over the event’s head due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the obvious dangers of holding the event, UFC president Dana White has been adamant the show will go on, and even told both Khabib and Tony Ferguson it would be going ahead, but just not in America.

Now, speaking on Instagram live, the Russian gave his side of the story and detailed everything that has gone on in recent weeks, even revealing that White told them the fight would most likely be held in Abu Dhabi.

“We were training in the AKA without any information regarding the fight, where and how is it going to happen,” he said via translation, as per RT.

“Then the UFC told us that the fight 100% isn’t happening in the States. And they said that 99% that it will happen in Emirates, Abu Dhabi.

“After talking to the UFC we decided to fly over to the Emirates a month before the fight. I don’t remember the exact date, it was 19th or 20th, I’ll have to check. But when we landed in Emirates we learned that they are going to close borders. And no one will be able to leave or fly in, with exception for residents.

“So we had to fly back to Russia. Currently I am in Dagestan and I am training and preparing every day. 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.”

Khabib then went on and discussed the actual event and what’s going to happen now, and it’s clear he thinks UFC still want it to go ahead, even if it means without him.

“So now I am hearing that they are looking to organize it with or without me. OK, go ahead,” he said.

“Everyone should follow the laws. I am not against it, I know that fighters need to feed their families and pay their bills. I know how hard it is for the fighter. Unless they fight they aren’t getting any money.

“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.

“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. By that time I already spent 5 weeks of hard training in the AKA.

“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.”

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