Khabib opens door to shock UFC 249 U-turn and vows ‘Give me a location and I’m there’ despite coronavirus lockdown

KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV opened the door to a shock UFC 249 U-turn by declaring: “Give me a location and 100 per cent I’m there.”

The Russian MMA star, 31, ruled himself out of his bout with Tony Ferguson earlier in the week.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is determined to make himself available for his UFC 249 clash with Tony Ferguson
Khabib Nurmagomedov is determined to make himself available for his UFC 249 clash with Tony Ferguson
Getty Images – Getty

He is currently in Russia and with the travel restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, insisted he was unable to get out for the fight.

But Khabib told ESPN he could still make the April 18 event happen – and desperately wants to if it is possible and safe.

He said: “Right now, if they give me location and I can come out from Russia and I can go to any country.

“US, Abu Dhabi, doesn’t matter. I’m going to fight, 100 per cent. Just give me location.

“Every day, I send Dana White a message. ‘Hey, where’s my location.’ This is not my mistake.

“Too many crazy stuff, too many questions and I don’t have answer.

“I understand people are upset because this fight, this is like a dream fight for fans. This is my dream fight.

“I lose money, I lose so much money. Nobody lose like I lose. Nobody. I lose so much things. I want to fight.”

On his Instagram, Khabib added: “My name is Khabib, I am not coronavirus.

“My name is Khabib, Dana [White] is Dana. Tony Ferguson is Tony Ferguson.

“The No 1 thing that makes me crazy is when people say that I pulled out – I don’t understand this. I’m still training, very hard since December.”

Khabib looked certain to miss the fight when he stated it was safer to stay at home.

But after a heavy backlash from his rival Ferguson – who insisted the Russian “should be stripped of his title” for “bailing out” – Khabib changed his tune.

Justin Gaethje was tipped to step in and replace Khabib before Jorge Masvidal and Dustin Poirier both threw their hats into the ring on Twitter by offering their availability.

But then the spat between Masvidal and Kamara Usman escalated with the Nigerian calling his fellow UFC star out again and wanting to fight him behind closed doors so everyone can “hear him squeal like the pig he is”.

Then Ferguson seemed to offer another alternative by stating only Khabib and Conor McGregor are worthy of an “a** whooping” at UFC 249.

And the Notorious further fuelled rumours he could sensationally step in to fight Ferguson by declaring he is ready to rumble.

He tweeted: “I am in shape to fight right now! At the beginning of all this, I said to myself – I’m happy I don’t have an official fight booked.

“If I did, I would have consumed all the incorrect data to support me taking part in the bout, and I would have followed through, competed. And won.”

Ferguson, though, would prefer a date with Khabib and a shot at his lightweight title.

He raged: “April 18 Is Getting Close @TeamKhabib & You’re Hiding In Russia. Travel Bans Will Not Prevent Me From Whoopin’ That A**.

“Don’t Use It As An Excuse To Back Out. You Have Been Sent Many Locations, Send Us 1. Still My B****.”

The problem for the UFC is that, even a deal can be sealed with the fighters, they still do not have a confirmed venue.

That is because the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) has refused to sanction the event due to the increasing danger and seriousness of Covid-19.

Tony Ferguson called out Khabib for "bailing out" of the fight and demanded he was stripped of his title
Tony Ferguson called out Khabib for “bailing out” of the fight and demanded he was stripped of his title

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