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"I take responsibility for that" - Dana White on Khabib Nurmagomedov missing UFC 249 

  • The originally scheduled headliner for UFC 249 between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was canceled.
  • Nurmagomedov was forced to pull out of the event due to international travel restrictions that have recently been implemented in Russia
Anurag Mitra
ANALYST
News
Modified 09 May 2020, 02:20 IST

Dana White and Khabib Nurmagomedov
Dana White and Khabib Nurmagomedov

As we move closer towards UFC 249, the most-awaited UFC pay-per-view of 2020 which is set to go down on Saturday night at Jacksonville, Florida; let's glance through the tumultuous past couple of months that the promotion endured due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

UFC was forced to cancel three of its scheduled events in the month of March due to COVID-19 but president Dana White remained confident that UFC 249, which was originally set to go down for April 18 would take place as scheduled, with or without fans in attendance.

The promotion tried everything in its capacity to ensure that the event went down as scheduled, from finding new locations to changing the card and implementing immediate safety measures for fighters and staff but it wasn't meant to be. White later revealed that top officials from ESPN asked him to stand down for the time being and here we are now, almost a month later, a day away from UFC 249. However, the originally scheduled headliner between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was canceled.

UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov was forced to pull out of the event due to international travel restrictions that have recently been implemented in Russia to cope with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Nurmagomedov faced backlash for pulling out of the fight and Ferguson even said that the undefeated Russian is afraid to face him and should retire.

Dana White takes responsibility for Nurmagomedov's withdrawal

During a recent interaction with BT Sport, UFC frontman White cleared the air surroundding the situation by defending Nurmagomedov's decision and taking responsibility for the miscommunication which led to the situation.

“I’m sure you saw today, Khabib posted, ‘Hey, as soon as Ramadan is over, I’m ready to roll,’ There was a lot of questioning Khabib, people were saying ‘Oh he got trapped in Russia’ or whatever; what he said is absolutely true. None of us saw coming what happened and how fast it was rapidly changing and the world was literally changing by the day. We all made some bad decisions that got him stuck in Moscow. It wasn’t just him, we all did. I take responsibility for that too."

Published 08 May 2020, 23:55 IST
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