UFC 249: Khabib-Ferguson cancelled for a fifth time

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dana White and Tony Ferguson
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson were held apart by Dana White

Unbeaten UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov says his long-awaited fight against American Tony Ferguson has been cancelled for a fifth time.

The pair were set to meet on 18 April in New York at UFC 249 but the venue had already been ruled out because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurmagomedov is currently in his native Russia and is unable to travel.

"I'm definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight," he saidexternal-link.

The 31-year-old was preparing to face Ferguson behind closed doors in the United Arab Emirates while the 36-year-old American remains in his homeland.

The fight has been arranged four times previously, but each time it has been cancelled because of health or fitness issues.

Nurmagomedov withdrew with a rib injury in 2015, Ferguson had a lung issue in 2016, and while trying to make the weight for their next bout in March 2017, Ferguson developed a kidney problem.

The pair were then set to fight for the lightweight championship in April 2018 but Ferguson suffered a freak accident six days before, tearing his knee ligament after tripping over a cable at a media event. No wonder UFC commentator Joe Rogan has said the fight is "cursed".

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