Umar Nurmagomedov claims that his fight with Sergey Morozov at UFC 257 was postponed to avoid any potential altercations with Conor McGregor.
The bantamweight fight between the two was originally scheduled to take place at the pay-per-view event of January 23 which is to be headlined by Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. However, it has now been brought forward to January 20 for UFC Fight Island 8.
Igor Lazorin was the first to report the news of the postponement.
Umar Nurmagomedov has now opened up about the matter in an interview with Sport24. He said that UFC decided because the promotion does not want him or his team to come face to face with Conor McGregor, after what went down between McGregor and Nurmagomedov's team the last time they confronted at UFC 229.
"Ali Abdelaziz told me that the fight was postponed. I said that it makes no difference to me. The main thing is to fight. Most likely, this was done so that we do not intersect with Conor McGregor here, and at the tournament too. They have such a policy They don't want us to see each other. Anything can happen.
"I don’t even know what would happen if I met Conor in the lobby... Definitely everything would not have ended well if our teams were in the same room. A person does not stop talking nonsense, insults and offends the honor of others. In this regard, he needs to change. Any fight can be promoted, but without affecting the honor and dignity of the opponent," said Umar Nurmagomedov [Translation: Google Translate]
Umar Nurmagomedov is a cousin of the lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Umar Nurmagomedov finally set to make his UFC debut
The Eagle's cousin was first scheduled to make his UFC debut against Hunter Azure at UFC 249 in April. The pay-per-view was also going to be headlined by a fifth booking of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson. But both fights fell through because of travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
After that, he was booked against Nathaniel Wood, but had to pull out of the bout due to the death of his uncle and Khabib's father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. Umar Nurmagomedov was next set to debut at UFC 254 but withdrew again, on that occasion because of a staph infection. However, this time his opponent remained the same when his fight against Sergey Morozov was rebooked for UFC 257. But now it will take place three days prior to its original booking.