The fight is due to be Khabib’s first since he beat Dustin Poirier by rear naked choke in Abu Dhabi in September 2019. That was the first of his successful title defences after beating Conor McGregor in 2018. The match between these two fighters is one that has been fraught with drama and has been made and cancelled four times already.
The next three events in the UFC calendar, held in Brazil, London, and Las Vegas were scheduled to go ahead until Dana White spoke to ESPN last night, announcing that “We can't do it ... We have no choice now but to postpone these fights.”
White is referring to the dwindling numbers of people who would be allowed to participate in the events if they were to go ahead.
With gatherings of more than 10 people being advised against, even holding a fight between two people without a crowd is difficult when you factor in judges, trainers, the referee, and cornermen.
White assured fans though that the Khabib- Ferguson fight, scheduled for April 18th would still take place.
“We’re postponing the next three events, but Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib April 18 is still on. That will still happen.” He said.
“We’re hoping that this all clears up by April. This fight is going to happen. No crowd, whatever it takes. Probably not even in the United States, but this fight will happen.”
UFC 249 was originally scheduled to take place at the Barclays Centre in New York’s Brooklyn. White and the UFC will presumably be looking for a venue in a place that remains relatively unaffected by the coronavirus.
Over the last few days, Nurmagemedov expressed his desire for the fight to take place, posting the following to his Instagram.
Ferguson meanwhile posted a training video, showing him getting after it in...jeans and smart shoes.
A novel training method indeed.
Now all we can do and wait to see if Khabib and Ferguson can beat the Coronavirus.