AKA KO'd by corona: Khabib Nurmagomedov's US training base CLOSED due to COVID19
Khabib Nurmagomedov's American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) training base in California has been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, just one month out of from the Russian's planned UFC title defense with Tony Ferguson.
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The Dagestani champion traditionally prepares for fights in the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) training headquarters in San Jose, California, but the gym has now been closed to the public to combat the COVID19 outbreak.
Khabib's lightweight title defense against Tony Ferguson is due to take place at UFC 249 on April 18.
"The gym is temporarily closed as of 3/17.20 until we are advised we can re-open," the academy informed on their official website.
"We are following the mandates given by the county to help stop the spread of coronavirus...Stay safe and we hope this ends soon!"
Khabib trains at AKA with UFC legend and former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, and the two have struck up an uncanny training couple in the gym.
The UFC's 155 lbs king is currently in training for the most anticipated fight in the organization's history as he gears up to face Ferguson on April 18.
That fight has also been plunged into jeopardy due to the spread of the virus as New York, the projected host city for the fight at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, introduced a ban on mass gatherings of more than 500 people.
Nevertheless, UFC head honcho Dana White has insisted the fight will go ahead "whatever it takes", despite the rest of the sporting world suspending or rearranging even the most significant tournaments.
“We have no choice now but to postpone these fights. So we’re postponing the next three events, but Tony Ferguson versus Khabib, April 18, is still on and that will still happen.”@danawhite joined @SportsCenter to address the postponement of upcoming UFC events. pic.twitter.com/FxKOAKnOEv— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 16, 2020
Among them, the NBA suspended has suspended their season and every major European football league has also entered a period of postponement, while on Tuesday UEFA officially announced this summer's Euro 2020 will now be played in 2021.
Nevertheless White remained defiant: "[W]e are postponing the next three events, but Tony Ferguson vs Khabib on April 18 is still on and that will still happen,” White told ESPN.
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“So we are going to follow these guidelines to not have more than 10 people in a room. And we are hoping that this all clears up by April. This fight is going to happen, no crowd, whatever it takes. It’s probably not even going to be in the United States. But this fight is going to happen.”
Should the fight be cancelled it will be the fifth time in as many attempt that particular matchup has suffered such a fate.