Despite Dana White’s intent to push through, the fate of UFC 249 remains hanging in the balance. Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, however, is not taking any chances.
American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez recently spoke with ESPN, revealing that “The Eagle” is still in full training camp, but with some adjustments.
“Just Khabib, that’s it,” Mendez said. “Nobody else is allowed. No one is coming. Just Khabib. We’ve gotta keep it safe for him.
“It’s private. We’re not open to the public,” he added. “We’re just doing our thing and there’s not many of us. So, we’re good.”
As far as Mendez and the rest of Team Khabib are concerned, their opponent is doing the same as they are. And as long as the powers that be aren’t making any announcements, the fight is still on.
“Khabib expects to fight somebody if something happens to Tony. He expects to fight somebody. One top guy. Whatever. And then he’ll go back after Tony. That’s the way he looks at it. He’s expecting to fight,” Mendez said.
”It’s not like, ‘Tony is out; forget it I’m not fighting.’ He’s training to fight somebody. It’s not like he has it in for Tony. He doesn’t have it in for Tony. [Ferguson is] a top guy. He’s the very best right now that he could face. So that’s why [Khabib] wants to face him.
“His attitude is, ‘I’ve got to fight. I’m here to fight and, until they tell me otherwise, I’m training to fight,’” Mendez said of Khabib. “So until Dana [White] says, ‘Get the foot off the pedal, we can’t make it happen,’ Khabib is going to stick to that mindset.”
As of this posting, UFC 249 is still scheduled for April 18th at an undetermined venue. Dana White, however, remains confident he can get the card to push through.