Russia’s UFC Reigning Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov insists that his bout against US fighter Tony Ferguson next month in the United States goes on schedule despite reports regarding the novel coronavirus spread, the Russian fighter said speaking during an on-line news conference on Wednesday, APA reports citing TASS.
Nurmagomedov’s team signed a contract last November for the Russian fighter to face American Tony Ferguson at a UFC event in Brooklyn, New York, on April 18, 2020. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week the state of emergency in in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which includes the cancellation and postponement of various sports events.
"We need only 100 people present for the fight," Nurmagomedov said. "We need [television] cameras and pay-per-view broadcasts to enable people on quarantine watch our fight."
"We need to be simply locked up in the arena, where we will decide who the champion is," Nurmagomedov continued about his bout against Ferguson. "I like the politics of UFC as they keep on track with the schedule, when everybody else keep cancel tournaments."
Nurmagomedov also said that the news should be announced soon in case the venue of the fight was changed.
"I have been preparing for the fight since December and I want this bout to take place," Nurmagomedov said. "I have recently spoken with [UFC President] Dana White and he told me that he would do everything possible to make this fight happen as scheduled."
"I only asked him [Dana White] to tell me where the fight will be," the Russian fighter continued. "We will find out soon about this date."
According to TASS reports earlier in the year, the Nurmagomedov-Ferguson fight next month in New York was likely to be held without spectators and the UFC had issued an official notification about this possibility.
Last month, a spokesman for Nurmagomedov’s team told TASS that the Russian fighter and his team set off to the United States in mid-February for trainings ahead of his bout against the American opponent. US fighter Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson, 35, has a record of 25 wins (12 by KOs, eight by submission and five by decision) and three defeats.