UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was set to defend the gold against former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson in the main event of UFC 249, but Nurmagomedov’s status for the bout is in flux at the moment.
No official replacement has been named at this time, but one fighter who won’t be stepping in at UFC 249 is former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor, if his coach in John Kavanagh is to be believed.
“No chance of that,” Kavanagh said on Ariel Helwani’s Instagram Show (via Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie). “Ireland is on a pretty strict lockdown (due to coronavirus). Me and Conor have no physical interactions. There’s no physical interaction at the gym. Gyms are shut down.”
Former WSOF Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje has been reported to be Nurmagomedov’s replacement at the event, but nothing has been made official at this time.
Kavanagh says McGregor is at a point in his life where the Irishman doesn’t need to fight on short notice.
“To try and rush that together, I just don’t think it would be smart,” Kavanagh said. “He certainly isn’t fighting so that he has food for the next six months. That’s not where he is in his life.”
UFC 249 takes place on Saturday, April 18 from a location to be announced with Tony Ferguson and an opponent to be announced headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.