Khabib Nurmagomedov’s long awaited fight against Tony Ferguson looks like it could be cancelled for a freak fifth time.
The fight has been scheduled four times before and each of those has been cancelled due to a succession of injuries and accidents, and it seems a global pandemic called coronavirus could be added to the list of fight stoppers.
Khabib, the current world lightweight champion, who took to his official Instagram this morning to address the situation and inform fans about what is going on, confirmed that he now looks set to be stuck in his homeland due to the country's travel restrictions.
UFC 249 could still take place even without its much-anticipated main event as Nurmagomedov revealed that they were looking for possible replacements to fight Ferguson, with White adamant the show will go ahead in the United Arab Emirates, despite the majority of fans calling for it to be shelved for the time being.
But with coronavirus seemingly set to pull the plug on Khabib vs Ferguson once more, we thought it would be the ideal time to look back into the trouble that has followed these two fighters around ever since their first planned meet back in 2015.
The pair were originally first meant to fight in 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale; six weeks before the fight, however, Khabib was forced to withdraw when he broke a rib in training.
As soon as Nurmagomedov was fit again, they scheduled the fight for 2016 as part of UFC on Fox 19, but this time around it was Ferguson who was not passed fit to fight. After finding a build-up of fluid in his lungs (including blood), doctors would not medically clear him to compete.
Third times the charm? No.
This time around they made it up until the day of the weigh-in where it was announced that Nurmagomedov had gone to hospital with dehydration following a difficult attempt to cut weight.
April fools 2018. A fourth try and this time the winner of the fight would take the crown off of Conor McGregor.
But on April 1, a week before the fight, Ferguson tripped over a television cable and blew out his knee which would require surgery.
Seriously? Given the history of the curse, what are the chances of one of them tripping over a television cable and doing so much damage that he couldn't fight!
Despite White saying that they would never try and reschedule the fight again, it was planned for UFC 249 and April 18.
Surely, surely this time everything would go as planned.
Nope. In came a once in a lifetime global pandemic that caused the majority of the world to go into lockdown and close all their borders and ban travel.
The fight was even moved from New York following a ban on public gatherings to the UAE, but it seems the fight is destined to not go ahead as Russia’s travel ban means Khabib won’t be able to attend.
So there you have it, official confirmation that this is the most cursed sporting event in history.
One year we'll get it. One year.
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