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1 Apr, 2020 14:32

Come fly Khabib: Russian Air Transport Agency says UFC champ COULD take private jet to US for UFC 249

Come fly Khabib: Russian Air Transport Agency says UFC champ COULD take private jet to US for UFC 249

Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency has become the unlikely potential saviour of MMA’s biggest ever fight, by confirming Khabib Nurmagomedov could fly to the US on a private jet for this UFC 249 title defense with Tony Ferguson.

The Agency has provided a slither of hope to MMA fans when they announced Khabib, currently in his native Dagestan, could gain a permit to fly to the US via private jet despite all international flights to and from the country having been grounded last week to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“For Khabib to be allowed to fly to the US on a private jet, the flight company whose services he intends to use, should obtain a permit for flying out of Russia and for arrival in the USA,” the Agency announced, Sport Express reported.

“The companies which provide private air travel usually know which documents the passenger needs to have so that they will be granted entry on arrival at the border."

Despite the possibility of being able to exit Russia by plane, the agency confirmed Khabib could have problems re-entering Russia from the US, due to new restrictions on arrivals to the country.

“There are currently no restrictions on business aviation from Russia. Upon the availability of approval, the aircraft will be able to fly to the US.

"But there are restrictions on arrival which were confirmed on Monday at the meeting of the Russian government’s Operational headquarters for the prevention of the spread of a new coronavirus infection. Consequently, Khabib could have separate problems with re-entering,” the agency added.

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Since returning to his native Dagestan following the closure of his US training base at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) headquarters in San Jose, California, Khabib has openly admitted to not knowing when, where or if at all the fight would happen.

Following last week's enforced restrictions regarding air travel to and from Russia, the 31-year-old seemed resigned to the fact UFC 249 would go ahead with a replacement to fight Ferguson, leading to rumors Justin Gaethje, Jorge Masvidal and even Conor McGregor would step in to face 'El Cucuy'.