While most of the MMA fans were disheartened with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s exit from the main event of UFC 249, Dana White seemingly saved the day by replacing him with No. 4 ranked lightweight contender Justin Gaethje. Amidst all the drama going around the PPV, Dana White has finalised the PPV and the venue is soon to be declared officially for the fans. However, the question still remains, what happened to the Khabib vs Ferguson fight? The UFC 249 main event was initially staged as a lightweight title bout, but Khabib’s departure has forced it to become an interim lightweight title fight. Here’s exactly what happened to the Khabib vs Ferguson fight.
This is the fifth time in four years that UFC has failed to actualise the much-awaited ‘Khabib vs Ferguson’ fight for the fans. However, this time UFC President Dana White was adamant about setting up the fight under any conditions, but Khabib Nurmagomedov decided to fly down to Russia amidst the coronavirus outbreak and was reportedly stuck in the country. Through an Instagram Live session, Khabib revealed that the international borders in Russia are shut and he will not be able to make it out of his home country. According to reports, Khabib was offered a private flight for the fight but the undefeated champion rejected the offer. Khabib vs Ferguson, therefore, was ruled out once again.
Khabib later justified his decision by claiming that he does not want to break the rules by taking up the Khabib vs Ferguson fight while every medical expert is advising people to stay indoors. However, that did not stop Tony Ferguson from taking a verbal shot at the lightweight champion. According to Ferguson, Khabib is "running away" from him and must be stripped of the title. Meanwhile, the question 'What happened to Khabib vs Ferguson fight' remains unanswered as netizens have been supporting and slamming Khabib's decision on social media.
Justin Gaethje has officially already agreed to step up opposite Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title at the main event of UFC 249. The venue is also finalised but is yet to be disclosed publicly by the UFC officials. Here’s a look at the full fight card.