Frozen out: Khabib Nurmagomedov says he's stuck in Russia and UFC 249 could move on WITHOUT HIM
Khabib Nurmagomedov has revealed that he went home after being told UFC 249 would "99%" be in the United Arab Emirates. But now he is stranded, with the UFC now looking to continue the event in the U.S. without him.
Speaking in an Instagram Live video on Monday, Nurmagomedov explained the circumstances that led him to being back home in Dagestan, and how his fight with Ferguson seems doomed to fall through for a fifth time.
"We were training in the AKA without any information regarding the fight, where and how is it going to happen," he said in Russian.
"Then the UFC told us that the fight 100% isn't happening in the States. And they said that 99% that it will happen in Emirates, Abu Dhabi.
"After talking to the UFC we decided to fly over to the Emirates a month before the fight. I don't remember the exact date, it was 19th or 20th, I'll have to check. But when we landed in Emirates we learned that they are going to close borders. And no one will be able to leave or fly in, with exception for residents.
"So we had to fly back to Russia. Currently I am in Dagestan and I am training and preparing every day. Although I don't know what am I preparing for. Because after we came to Russia we also learned that the borders are going to be locked. Same like in the States, same like in Europe, Emirates, everywhere. The whole world is in quarantine right now."
Then, Khabib revealed that the UFC were STILL planning to go ahead with the event, despite the fact his blockbuster title fight with Ferguson would not be on the card.Also on rt.com Khabib takes to the firing range as father Abdulmanap confirms UFC star IS STILL in Russia despite impending lockdown
"So now I am hearing that they are looking to organize it with or without me. OK, go ahead," he said.
"Everyone should follow the laws. I am not against it, I know that fighters need to feed their families and pay their bills. I know how hard it is for the fighter. Unless they fight they aren't getting any money.
"I am even hearing that they are looking for an opponent for Tony, because he is in the States and I am here in Russia. But I am here not on my own will.
"The UFC told me that this fight 100% isn't happening in the USA, and even if it's not happening in the Emirates it will happen on this side of Atlantic. We discussed everything with the UFC. By that time I already spent 5 weeks of hard training in the AKA.Also on rt.com UFC 249 dealt seemingly fatal blow as Russia TOTALLY locks down borders... appearing to trap Khabib in country
"Now I don't really know what's going on. It's really hard to train and cut your weight when the whole world is locked down and you don't know what you are preparing for. But it's not the first time I face obstacles in my career."
It remains to be seen what will happen next with UFC 249, whether it will take place, and if so where, and with whom on the card, but clearly there is still much to be arranged before this event can come to fruition during this unprecedented international health crisis.