Photos: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Ferguson has a message for Khabib following UFC 249 dropout

"You're hiding in Russia..."

As the two are bitter rivals, Tony Ferguson couldn’t resist throwing shade in a message directed at Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

As tragic as it is to state: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson is off, all things considered. Nurmagomedov, the reigning lightweight champion, is stuck in Russia as the nation has closed it’s borders for travel. All indications are that UFC 249, should it proceed as UFC president Dana White wishes, will take place in the United Arab Emirates. This spells disaster for the Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson, which many fans have called a “cursed match up” due to the fact that the fight has now been cancelled three times.

BREAKING: Khabib officially withdraws from UFC 249

Nurmagomedo said in a recent video that the event will continue with or without him. As Russia’s nation wide travel ban is in effect with the UFC champ still there, the odds are stacked against him, and there is little chance that the bout will be salvaged.

“So now I am hearing that they are looking to organize it with or without me. OK, go ahead,” he said.

While most would not blame Nurmagomedov for this, as the world is engulfed in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Ferguson took a jab at his rival. The two have had intense exchanges in the several lead-ups to their several planned bouts. In a message on social media, Ferguson took aim at his Russian foe.

“April 18 Is Getting Close [Khabib] & You’re Hiding In Russia,” Ferguson wrote on Twitter. “Travel Bans Will Not Prevent Me From Whoopin’ That Ass. Don’t Use It As An Excuse To Back Out. You Have Been Sent Many Locations, Send Us 1. Still My Bitch.”

According to reports from ESPN, the UFC have suggested a replacement bout between Ferguson and top contender Justin Gaethje. Sitting on a three fight winning streak (All T/KO’s) and on the #4 spot in the lightweight rankings, it’s a reasonable match up. Gaethje has been clamouring for a title shot since he finished Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the first round of their bout.


Was the message that Tony Ferguson sent Khabib Nurmagomedov too harsh?

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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