Per Häljestam-USA TODAY Sports / MMAnytt

JUST IN: Fighter found to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov, save UFC 249

The landmark event will most likely continue without Khabib Nurmagomedov

It’s been a hectic couple of days for the UFC. Locations for UFC 249, which UFC boss Dana White stubbornly claims is still on, are dwindling and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic looks to make any sporting event near impossible. Not only that, but it was recently revealed that UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, slated to face Tony Ferguson in the UFC 249 main event, is stranded in Russia due to a nation wide lockdown. The UFC are now in dire need of a new main event for UFC 249: Enter Justin Gaethje.

According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC decided to proceed without Nurmagomedov.


“According to sources, UFC is aware of Nurmagomedov’s status and have now begun looking at alternate plans for the April 18 main event and card, which they are still determined to put on.”

It was later added via ESPN MMA that Ferguson has been offered a replacement fight against Gaethje, though the fight is not agreed upon or finalised by all parties involved.

“Tony Ferguson, per sources, has been offered a fight [at UFC 249] against top contender Justin Gaethje, however, that fight has not been agreed upon nor finalized,” the post said. “Neither has a location for the event.”

Gaethje is currently riding a three fight winning streak, with all wins coming via T/KO. He most recently finished fan favourite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in impressive fashion. Ferguson, however, has one of the divisions longest winning streaks with 12 straight victories.

It remains to be seen if all parties involved agree to the bout, which would most certainly save UFC 249.

Should Justin Gaethje vs Tony Ferguson be the new UFC 249 main event?

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for