KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV has been forced to withdraw from UFC 249 after Russia imposed a travel ban that lasts beyond April 18.
No flights are going in or out of the country due to a coronavirus lockdown, meaning the Daegestani’s fight against Tony Ferguson is off for the FIFTH time.
Yet, a number of MMA stars are prepared to be a late replacement and face off against the lightweight star.
Who could Tony Ferguson face?
Welterweight star Jorge Masvidal was quick to offer himself up for the fight, as the BMF holder looks to return after beating Nate Diaz in November.
The American – who holds the record for fastest knockout in UFC history – took to Twitter to tell the MMA world that he is available on that date.
Meanwhile, Dustin Poirier also took to social media to hand in his bid to replace Khabib, despite the 31-year-old losing to the Russian back in September at UFC 242.
But there would be no bigger name than Conor McGregor in what would add another string to their heated rivalry.
The Irishman and Khabib are expected to have a rematch in the future, after the UFC Lightweight champion won against Notorious in October 2018.
Since then, McGregor has had to rise back through the ranks after temporarily retiring from the sport.
His return against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone lasted just 40 seconds after knocking out the American – and now could be in line to return to lightweight.
McGregor’s trainer John Kavanagh hinted at such a prospect as Ferguson continues to hope for Khabib to be able to fight.
Meanwhile, Justin Gaethje is another name that has been thrown into the hat.
When and where is UFC 249 being held?
UFC 249 is expected to stay on with April 18 pencilled in.
But the location is still unknown after the original venue of Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, was forced to cancel due to coronavirus restrictions.
Florida has been tipped to take over as the host venue, but no decision has been made so far.