'April 18 I'm free': BMF Jorge Masvidal throws hat into ring to replace Khabib at UFC 249
Khabib on Monday confirmed he is currently in Russia having returned to his homeland after the closure of his American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) training base in California, landing straight into a 14 day quarantine as compliant with Russian law for nationals returning from abroad.Also on rt.com Frozen out: Khabib Nurmagomedov says he's stuck in Russia and UFC 249 could move on WITHOUT HIM
At home in Dagestan, Khabib was seemingly safe in the knowledge UFC 249 would "99%" take place in the UAE, but has since been told the show will likely go on, only without him and in the US.
Those woes were compounded when last week, Russia grounded all international flights to and from the country from March 27, leaving the UFC's 155 lbs ruler effectively stranded in his own back yard.
Unsurprisingly, the news created a vacuum of fighters throwing their name into hat to face Ferguson, including the UFC's 'baddest motherfucker' belt owner Jorge Masvidal has since chirped up with confirmation he is "free" on the original April 18 fight date.
Although it may be a fight that will make the mouth water of any mma fan, practical issues mean that fight is unlikely to happen at lightweight, with Masvidal very much a fully-fledged welterweight and likely well above the 170 lbs limit currently.
However, Ferguson has experience fighting at the weight class above, including winning The Ultimate Fighter 13 in the division way back in 2011.
In an Instagram live video streamed on Monday, Khabib outlined his woes at consistently altering plans and preparations.
"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."
Despite obvious disappointment, Khabib magnanimously gave his ok to the UFC's plans for the fight would still take place, putting the need for fighter's to provide for their families ahead of his fight with Ferguson being postponed for a fifth time.
"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."Also on rt.com Frozen out: Khabib Nurmagomedov says he's stuck in Russia and UFC 249 could move on WITHOUT HIM