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28 Mar, 2020 15:28

UFC 249 dealt seemingly fatal blow as Russia TOTALLY locks down borders... appearing to trap Khabib in country

UFC 249 dealt seemingly fatal blow as Russia TOTALLY locks down borders... appearing to trap Khabib in country

The Russian authorities may have put the final nail in the coffin for the UFC's plans to go ahead with the Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson bout, after locking down all the country's borders.

The Russian government announced on Saturday that all travel into and out of the country - including by rail, boat, car and even pedestrian - would be closed from Monday as the nation bids to stave off the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

The state order said that the measure was "temporary," but provided no indication as to when the border traffic will resume.

The ban does not apply to diplomats or members of official delegations departing from the country.

READ MORE: Russia to ban ALL cross-border travel over Covid-19 pandemic

Russia had already banned all regular and charter international flights from Friday, with the only exceptions for flights repatriating its citizens.

The news of the latest stringent measures is yet another apparent blow to UFC boss Dana White's plans to press ahead with the lightweight title match-up between Khabib and Ferguson set for April 18.

Also on rt.com ‘What if Khabib has the corona?’ Joe Rogan rules himself out of 'cursed' UFC 249 superfight

Russian lightweight ruler Khabib is currently believed to be in his homeland, having recently returned from the US after his American Kickboxing Academy base in San Jose, California, was shut down.

Any window of opportunity to leave Russia again, if he hasn't done so already, would now seem to have disappeared with the latest measures imposed. 

UFC boss White has claimed that a new location for Khabib's blockbuster showdown with Ferguson - which was originally planned for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York - has been "99 percent" agreed.

However, it seems unlikely that White could even get the fighters anywhere near each in the foreseeable future, considering that Khabib could be stuck in Russia.