Fans have been anxiously watching the days pass, convinced yet another act of God would once again intervene. But according to UFC President Dana White, UFC 249: Khabib vs Ferguson will apparently go ahead despite COVID-19.
This lightweight match for the ages has been deemed “cursed” by many for some time now. Originally set to occur back in 2015, the fight has been cancelled a total of four times since. Each time for a different health-related reason.
To bring you up to speed, here’s a brief timeline of the misfortunes that have been:
The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale (December 11th, 2015)
October 15th, 2015
Approximately six weeks from the fight, Nurmagomedov withdraws due to a broken rib.
UFC on FOX 19 (April 16th, 2016)
April 5th, 2018
Eleven days from the fight, Ferguson withdraws after doctors refuse to clear him for action due to the presence of fluid in his lungs.
UFC 209 (March 4th, 2017)
March 3rd, 2017
Weigh-in day – as in the day before the fight – Nurmagomedov is hospitalised trying to make weight.
UFC 223 (April 7, 2018)
April 1st, 2018
Six days from the fight, Ferguson blows out his knee tripping over a cable wire. The initial replacement is Max Holloway, who would later also withdraw after a bad weight cut. Nurmagomedov eventually faces Al Iaquinta to secure the title.
Suffice it to say, you can understand fans’ concerns.
In an email to staffers, however, White confirmed that the UFC Fight Night events scheduled for March 21st, March 28th, and April 11th will be delayed as per the White House’s advisory.
Again, I hear what he’s saying vis-a-vis Khabib vs Ferguson. Though no one can blame me if I were to say I’ll believe it when I see it.
UFC 249: Khabib vs Ferguson will occur on April 18th. Hopefully. Maybe. Knock on wood and pray to every single deity, fight fans.