Earlier today there was a release from Russia saying that private flights out of the country would be available if needed. The reason that announcement is such a big deal, at least to the folks in the mixed martial arts world is because if that is true and I have no reason to believe it isn’t, it would have opened the door for UFC lightweight champion of the world Khabib Nurmagomedov to catch a plane to the USA and defend his belt at UFC 249 against Tony Ferguson.
Nurmagomedov, however, Took to his Instagram page to make another announcement like the one he did last week when he said he was stuck in his home country due to travel restrictions. Today’s post made it 100% abundantly clear to everybody that he will not be leaving the country, and he will not be fighting on April 18th and he is going to, like the rest of us in the world, self-quarantine during this pandemic.
- “Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine, Governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and (I am) the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight? I understand everything, and I’m definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight, probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I can’t control it all.”
Like many of you I am bummed out that we are not going to see this fight later this month. With that being said, we are not living in a normal world today and I respect the champion’s decision to be like the rest of us and do what he feels is safest for him and his family during this crazy scenario that has taken over the entire planet.
Hopefully, we will get this fight before the end of the year. We all know the champ will take a leave of absence from the public eye the week after UFC249 to celebrate Ramadan, as he always has.
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.