Reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has had to fly back to Russia to complete his training for UFC 249 after American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) has been forced to close its doors due to coronavirus.
According to teammate Daniel Cormier, Nurmagomedov was only able to train for two hours a day at American Kickboxing Academy and Russian outlet TASS reports that ‘The Eagle’ is now back home in Dagestan, Russia (h/t MMA Junkie).
Khabib is scheduled to defend his lightweight title against former interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson on April 18 but many fans fear UFC 249 will be cancelled due to COVID-19. The bout has been cancelled four times in the past, but UFC president Dana White is determined to make this fight happen no matter what.
It’s rumored by Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, that UFC 249 will take place Dubai, while Nurmagomedov’s head trainer, Javier Mendez, thinks the event could be moved to Abu Dhabi. UFC 249: Khabib vs. Ferguson was originally expected to take place in New York but the event was cancelled amid concerns over coronavirus. The UFC is currently scrambling to find a new venue for April 18.