If not on April 18, when?
If not vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov, who?
These are the dilemmas that Tony Ferguson now has to face in the wake of his latest potential setback in the on-again, off-again pairing against Nurmagomedov.
Monday, Khabib Nurmagomedov hosted a video chat on his Instagram where he revealed that he may not be able to leave his home country of Russia, potentially jeopardizing the scheduled main event of UFC 249 in a few weeks.
If Nurmagomedov stays in Russia, this latest possible cancellation would make it five times that the UFC has scheduled these two competitors for a fight without a single punch being thrown, dating back to The Ultimate Fighter live finale in December of 2015.
That time, the former withdrew due to a rib injury.
Russia currently has a complete travel ban and its borders are also closed—both government orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As Dana White and the UFC navigate through this latest hurdle in the effort to put UFC 249 on as scheduled in a few weeks’ time, the promotion has reportedly offered Ferguson a shot at Justin Gaethje in the main event.
Gaethje (21-2) most recently fought Donald Cerrone back in September of last year in Vancouver during UFC on ESPN+ 16’s main event.
That night, Gaethje stopped Cerrone by first-round TKO with 42 seconds remaining on the clock.
With this new proposed fight, there comes a few questions, namely whether or not the fight will be for an interim Lightweight championship, something which ESPN’s Ariel Helwani has already pondered Monday in a column of his own on the matter.
It goes without saying that these questions will be answered quickly.
Armchair will be following this story in the coming days and we’ll have any updates relating to the status of UFC 249’s main event.
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