Khabib Nurmagomedov putting his lightweight title on the line against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18 isn't dead just yet.
Quarantining from the coronavirus pandemic in Russia, Nurmagomedov spoke with ESPN on Thursday and said he's still more than willing to make the fight happen as long as the UFC tells him the location of UFC 249 immediately.
“Right now, if they give me location and I can come out from Russia and I can go to any country,” Nurmagomedov said. “U.S., Abu Dhabi, doesn’t matter. I’m going to fight, 100 percent. Just give me location. Every day, I send (UFC president) Dana White a message. ‘Hey, where’s my location.’
"This is not my mistake," he continued, referring to the coronavirus outbreak. “Too many crazy stuff, too many questions and I don’t have answer. I understand people are upset because this fight, this is like a dream fight for fans. This is my dream fight. I lose money, I lose so much money. Nobody lose like I lose. Nobody. I lose so much things. I want to fight.”
Nurmagomedov says knowing the location as soon as possible is paramount to him making logistical travel arrangements during this COVID-19 pandemic and figuring out the remainder of his training camp, so that he could go into the Ferguson fight appropriately.
If UFC 249 on April 18 doesn't pan out, Nurmagomedov said he's willing to fight Ferguson in August. With Khabib being Muslim and observing Ramadan fasting from April 23 to May 23, that would give him enough time to train for Ferguson once again.
"June, July, two months, then August I can fight," Nurmagomedov told ESPN. "I hear the UFC wants to make a show in San Francisco [in August]. If not, let's fight in Abu Dhabi middle of September. Or fight now, before Ramadan. April 18, we're supposed to fight, but where? This is the question."
Nurmagomedov's urgency to know the location of UFC 249 comes after he made a lengthy Instagram post Wednesday in which he seemingly pointed to not fighting on the April 18 card due to a coronavirus travel ban in Russia.
"I understand everything and I'm definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight, probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I can't control it all," Nurmagomedov wrote. "The greatest countries and the largest companies of our time are shocked by what is happening, every day the situation changes unpredictably. But Khabib still has to fight, is that what you saying? Take care of yourself and put yourself in my shoes."
That prompted Ferguson to say that Nurmagomedov "should be stripped of his title."
“He was in Abu Dhabi, had the chance to be able to come back (to the United States) before the borders were closed in Russia," Ferguson told ESPN later on Wednesday. “He decided to go back to Dagestan, he did not finish his camp. The guy does not want to fight, he’s scared, he’s running. He should be stripped of his title.”
Nurmagomedov's reaction to that notion was simple, saying the coronavirus pandemic wasn't triggered by him and that Ferguson is "just a stupid guy."
He equally dismissed the idea of Ferguson and Justin Gaethje fighting for a UFC interim lightweight championship, repeatedly saying he's the only champ and top fighter in the division.
If the Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson fight doesn't happen at UFC 249, it will mark the fifth time that the bout has failed to happen.