Alternate Locations For Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson
Mixed martial arts fans around the world could still see Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson next month — just not in the United States.
Despite the global coronavirus outbreak that has shut down just about every sporting event in the United States, including the UFC’s next three events, Dana White has maintained that the UFC 249 headliner between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson will still take place.
The pair were originally set to compete for the lightweight title on April 18 in Brooklyn, New York. However, White now says it will likely take place outside the United States due to the current restrictions imposed.
Some have speculated that Russia could be a potential alternative. Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap, though, believes the likeliest location would be the United Arab Emirates — Dubai, in particular.
“Most likely it will be Dubai,” Abdulmanap told RBC Sports (translation via MMA Fighting). “Firstly, it’s easier to fight diseases because of the heat. And I think the Emirates will pay for the UFC fight faster and easier.
“Abu Dhabi may well be, but then, [that’s up to] Dana White. I can’t approve, but there are more chances there.”
It remains to be seen if White will be able to pull that off, but he does have approximately a month to figure things out.
As for Khabib, despite the current situation, he still wants to fight Ferguson.
And while some may be disappointed at a fight of this magnitude potentially not having any fans in attendance, his father believes it will be even better without an audience.
“Khabib feels great, everything is going according to plan,” Abdulmanap said. “He is not afraid of the coronavirus, we are all mortals. What about empty stands? I think that the audience is good, but without them it is even better.”
Do you still think we will see the UFC 249 headliner next month?