Khabib vs Ferguson 'could be offered lifeline by Belarus'

UFC 249 showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson ‘could be offered lifeline by Belarus’ as Dana White weighs up ‘plan B’ to stage fight in eastern Europe on April 18

  • UFC 249 is still scheduled to take place on April 18 despite the coronavirus
  • Main event was supposed to see Khabib Nurmagomedov fight Tony Ferguson
  • The Russian looked to be out of the fight as he is in lockdown in his country 

UFC fans have been given a glimmer of hope that the highly-anticipated showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will go ahead on April 18 with fight potentially being able to take place in Belarus.

UFC president Dana White is doing everything he can to make UFC 249 go ahead despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 

The chances of lightweight champion Nurmagomedov competing looked to be slim with the Russian on lockdown in his home country and the UFC actively looking for a new opponent for Ferguson.

Khabib Nurmagomedov (L) was due to defend his title against Tony ferguson (R) on April 18

However, the card could now be headed to Belarus, a country which borders Russia and has not postponed sporting events.

So far have been 562 confirmed cased of COVID-19 there with eight deaths. 

Belarus Federation of Hand to Hand Fighting & MMA, Maxim Korolkov told Russia’s Sport 24: ‘We offered specific arenas which could host the UFC. One of them is the Minsk Arena which can hold 15,000 people.

The 15,000-seat Minsk Arena has been offered to the UFC to host the pay-per-view event

‘We received an oral reply [from the UFC]. Firstly, we were thanked for the offer. Secondly, our proposal was included as a conditional ‘plan B’.

‘They already have venues for this tournament. Dana White does not want to report this, but they have well-developed options.

‘In any case, they are grateful and ready to consider our option with Minsk for future UFC tournaments.’ 

Undefeated lightweight champion Nurmagomedov is currently in lockdown in Russia

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