According to RT’s Denis Geyko, who cited social media posts, UFC 254 has lost one of its Nurmagomedov. However, the main event featuring UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje remains intact.
Geyko reports that ‘The Eagle’’s younger cousin Umar Nurmagomedov has been pulled from his undercard fight with Sergey Morozov after he was hospitalized for a high fever in Dubai. Both Nurmagomedovs had been training in Dubai ahead of their scheduled fights in nearby Abu Dhabi.
UPDATE: According to Khabib’s Instagram post, Umar's fever has been caused by Staph infection, not flu. Khabib’s team is in currently relocating for Dubai to Abu Dhabi pic.twitter.com/SgyVlipFyL— Denis Geyko (@DenisGeykoMMA) October 18, 2020
The younger Numagomedov’s fever is believed to be connected to a staph infection. Geyko stated that Khabib Nurmgomedov, and his team, will now relocate to Abu Dhabi to finish their camp.
MMA Junkie’s John Morgan, who is on-site on ‘Fight Island’, reported that—after speaking with UFC officials—Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje is “still 100 percent on”.
Not an ideal message to see today, but I have spoken with multiple UFC officials who assure me the @TeamKhabib fight at #UFC254 is “still 100 percent on." https://t.co/dECt2guIne— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) October 18, 2020
Umar Nurmagomedov is 12-0 in pro competition and a former Gorilla Fighting Championship bantamweight champion. The 24-year-old was originally scheduled to make his Octagon debut versus Hunter Azure at UFC 249 before that event was rescheduled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Nurmagomedov was then matched with Nathanial Wood for UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till in July. However, Nurmagomedov withdrew from that match-up following the death of his uncle Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov’s previously planned UFC 254 opponent, Sergey Morozov, is a 16-3 fighter out of Kazakhstan. After a long—and title winning—run in M1, UFC 254 was meant to be his UFC promotional debut, too.
It is unknown at this time whether the UFC will find another opponent for Morozov and keep him on the card.