Morning Report: Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov suggests Dubai as possible alternative location for UFC 249 – MMA Fighting

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On Monday, the UFC finally tapped out to the coronavirus, announcing that the organization will indefinitely postpone its next three planned events amidst the global pandemic. But despite the fact that UFC London, UFC Columbus, and UFC Portland have all now been effectively cancelled, and that UFC 249 is set to take place only a week after UFC Portland was scheduled, Dana White is still not giving up on Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson; and neither is Khabib’s team.

After announcing the event cancellations yesterday, Dana White went on to say that UFC would do “whatever it takes” to ensure that UFC 249 takes place and it’s easy to understand why. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been scheduled to face each other four times before, with each side being forced out of the fight on two of those occasions. At this point, a fight between the two is the only bout that makes sense and giving up on it a fifth time is a hard prospect to swallow. So along those lines, Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, has some ideas for how to save the event.

Speaking with RBC Sports in Russia, Abdulmanap suggested that the UFC may need to move UFC 249 to the United Arab Emirates to make it happen.

“Most likely it will be Dubai,” Abdulmanap said. “Firstly, it’s easier to fight diseases because of the heat. And I think the Emirates will pay for the UFC fight faster and easier.

“Abu Dhabi may well be, but then, [that’s up to] Dana White. I can’t approve, but there are more chances there,” he told RBC.

At this point if the event does move forward as planned, it’s almost certain it will have to be moved. Currently New York City has banned gatherings of over 500 people and, as the pandemic appears set to ramp up in the United States, UFC 249 taking place in Brooklyn seems increasingly unlikely. Whether or not the UAE is a possible destination though, remains to be seen. There are reportedly investors interested in possibly hosting the bout there, but in these turbulent times many nations are restricting travel to prevent the spread of the virus and how things would all shake out is very much up for debate.

What isn’t up for debate is Khabib’s intention to fight Ferguson. The UFC lightweight champion has continually insisted that this fight will take place on April 18 despite the surrounding circumstances and Abdulmanap echoed his son’s sentiments, saying that even if they have to fight in a closed gym, that’s fine with them.

“Khabib feels great, everything is going according to plan,” Abdulmanap said. “He is not afraid of the coronavirus, we are all mortals. What about empty stands? I think that the audience is good, but without them it is even better.”


Good call. UFC indefinitely postpones next three events amidst coronavirus pandemic, Dana White vows ‘we will get through this’.

Bad call. Dana White promises ‘whatever it takesKhabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson will happen on April 18.

Everyone’s doing it. LFA postpones all shows through April due to coronavirus outbreak.

About that. . . Francis Ngannou explains why he’s ‘very happy’ the UFC is still moving forward with fights.

Clarify. Darren Till clarifies ‘fear’ of Yoel Romero, responds to Israel Adesanya calling him a ‘p*ssy’.


MMA News Update.

UFC Connected.

Masvidal on dropping back down to lightweight.

Bisping talking about a fanless event.


The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC Brasilia and the UFC’s stance on coronavirus.

Anik & Florian. Discussing UFC Brasilia and COVID-19.


Max Holloway is the motherf*cking man and I’ll hear no argument against it.

Woodley, Edwards, and Burns.

Francis.

Tony training in isolation.

Coronavirus.

Man, maybe should’ve signed those Project Spearhead cards. Then you wouldn’t be in a position of having to pick your own well-being over the well-being of your entire community.

Ouch.


Darren Stewart (11-4) vs. Bartosz Fabinski (14-3); Cage Warriors 113, March 20.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day y’all. Normally I’d tell everyone not to go too hard but seems like there are bigger concerns out there than partying. Stay safe, thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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