With UFC 249 less than a month away, we still don’t know what will happen with it. In the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic, the UFC has remained in operation, having all fights with no fans in attendance, and this event is no different. The location of the event has not been announced yet, as UFC President Dana White is still weighing his options.
The main event of the card was supposed to be Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson but that will change if it happens at all. Earlier this week, Khabib posted a message on his Instagram stating that he was staying in Russia amid the pandemic and does not plan on risking his life to travel wherever for the fight.
Tony Ferguson has indicated that he would still like to fight and is willing to fight whoever is willing to step up, but as we draw closer to the event, it will be harder to find a replacement for Khabib on such short notice. The UFC has not indicated if there will be a replacement to fight Ferguson but the names Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje have since been mentioned. The third name that was mentioned was Conor McGregor, but that is very unlikely to happen on such short notice even after an easy win over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 246 in January.
Tony Ferguson has also started a campaign for UFC to strip Khabib of his Lightweight Championship, now that a fight between these two men has been postponed for the fifth time. The good news for Khabib is that having his title stripped is very unlikely based on the reasons he is pulling out of the fight. If there was not a global pandemic going on and he pulled out of the fight for this reason, yes then he should be stripped, but he is just doing the wise thing for himself and his family.
One day eventually we will see this fight take place. We as MMA fans just have to be patient, but at the same time hope that this fight happens sooner rather than later. It would be a shame for Ferguson to have to wait much longer as he is 36 years old and running out of time to take on a younger Khabib. Until this pandemic ends, we are more than likely not to see these two go face to face, but hopefully one day soon, we will get the fight that is years in the making.