Khabib Nurmagomedov says he is more upset than anybody that his fight with Tony Ferguson has been postponed for a fifth time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Unbeaten UFC lightweight champion Khabib was due to face American Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18, but the COVID-19 outbreak meant the event could not take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Khabib had been informed it was "99 per cent" certain that he would still do battle with Ferguson and Abu Dhabi was set to stage the event.

The 31-year-old Russian on Wednesday stated there is no chance he can fight as he follows orders to remain at home after coming in for criticism for the latest cancellation.

He posted on Instagram: "Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine, governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight?

"I understand everything and I'm definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight, probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I can't control it all.

"The greatest countries and the largest companies of our time are shocked by what is happening, every day the situation changes unpredictably.

"But Khabib still has to fight, is that what you saying? Take care of yourself and put yourself in my shoes."

Jon Jones accepted "full responsibility" after reaching a plea deal in his case for driving while intoxicated.

The UFC light heavyweight champion entered a guilty plea to a charge relating to an incident in New Mexico on March 26.

Jones will avoid jail time but must reportedly serve 96 hours in a community custody program similar to house arrest.

The 32-year-old is also said to have accepted outpatient therapy and a fine after agreeing a deal with prosecutors, which saw other charges against Jones dropped. 

A statement released via Jones' publicist read: "While we all work to understand and cope with stress and uncertainties surrounding the current state of our world, I want to express how truly disappointed I am that I have become the source of a negative headline again, especially during these trying times. 

"I am disappointed for letting down the people I care about the most – my family, friends and my fans. 

"This morning I entered into a plea deal with the Albuquerque DA's office. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I know that I have some personal work to do to which involves the unhealthy relationship I have with.

"I have dedicated so much time and energy to improve my community, and I will not allow this personal setback to hinder my work within the community when we need it most. 

"I truly appreciate the support I have received from the community of Albuquerque and all my fans around the world. 

"I very much look forward to putting this behind me. Thank you all for your continued love and support and please take care of yourselves."

Khabib Nurmagomedov is anticipating his proposed fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 will be postponed for a fifth time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the unbeaten UFC lightweight champion claimed promoters are trying to schedule a fight for Ferguson "with or without him".

Nurmagomedov, who has a 28-0 record, had been due to face Ferguson in New York on April 18 but the event cannot be held at Barclays Center due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Now back in his native Russia, Nurmagomedov revealed he had been told it was "99 per cent" that he would still face Ferguson in Abu Dhabi, but now believes the UFC are planning the card without one of their most high-profile fighters.

"Now I am hearing that they are looking to organise it with or without me. Okay, go ahead," Nurmagomedov said on an Instagram live chat.

"Everyone should follow the laws. I am not against it, I know that fighters need to feed their families and pay their bills. I know how hard it is for the fighter. Unless they fight they aren't getting any money.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

“I am even hearing that they are looking for an opponent for Tony, because he is in the States and I am here in Russia. But I am here not on my own will."

He added: "The UFC told me that this fight 100 per cent isn't happening in the USA, and even if it's not happening in the Emirates it will happen on this side of Atlantic. We discussed everything with the UFC. 

"Now I don't really know what's going on. It's really hard to train and cut your weight when the whole world is locked down and you don't know what you are preparing for. But it's not the first time I face obstacles in my career."

On the previous four occasions Nurmagomedov and Ferguson had been due to meet in the octagon, health or fitness issues forced cancellations.

Ferguson accused Nurmagomedov of using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to avoid him, writing on Twitter: "April 18 Is Getting Close @TeamKhabib & You're Hiding In Russia.

"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."

According to a report from ESPN, Ferguson has been offered an alternative fight with Justin Gaethje as an alternative option.

Welterweight Jorge Masvidal, who is one of the leading contenders in the weight class above Ferguson, also appeared to make his availability known by tweeting "April 18 I'm free #theresurrection".

Jon Jones' name will forever be mentioned among the pantheon of MMA greats but the chance to cement his legacy by beating heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is one that must be enticing.

In a career that notes just one defeat, and even that has an asterisk next to it given it was a contentious disqualification loss to Matt Hamill back in December 2009, Jones has fair claims to call himself the greatest of all time.

The UFC light heavyweight champion has defeated all before him in the division and many are now clamouring for him to step up in weight.

That would present the intriguing possibility of a showdown with Miocic, a man who has forged his own reputation as a fearsome competitor in UFC.

In the fourth edition of our UFC dream fights we would love to see series, we have profiled Jones and Miocic's records in the Octagon.


WHY DO WE WANT TO SEE THIS FIGHT?

Jones was not entirely convincing in his previous two title defences against Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes and rematches with either man, particularly the latter, should not be discounted.

But in truth there is little else for 'Bones' to accomplish at light heavyweight and if the opportunity to fight for a second belt arises it is one he should grasp.

Miocic, 37, has wins over the likes of Daniel Cormier, Francis Ngannou and Junior Dos Santos on his resume and would be a mouth-watering opponent for Jones.


GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

Where do you even start with Jones' achievements? He has simply dominated at light heavyweight and holds UFC records in the division for most title defences, most wins, longest win streak and most submission wins. There is little wonder Jones' name is at the top of most people's pound-for-pound greatest.

Miocic is a two-time UFC heavyweight champion, first winning the strap off Fabricio Werdum in May 2016 and defeating Cormier in a rematch for the belt last August. No other heavyweight has more consecutive title defences than Miocic's three.


WHAT'S THEIR MMA RECORD (W-L-D)?

Jones: 26-1-0

Miocic: 19-3-0


TALE OF THE TAPE

Jones:

Age: 32
Height: 6'4" (193cm)
Weight: 205lbs (93kg)
Reach: 84"
Leg Reach: 45"

Miocic:

Age: 37
Height: 6'4" (193cm)
Weight: 240lbs (109kg)
Reach: 80"
Leg Reach: 39"


WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT A POTENTIAL FIGHT

Jones said in an interview with UFC in February: "If the UFC comes to me and offers me a big title fight against Stipe for big dollars, I'm obviously going to take that. I'm always getting thrown in with greatest fighters of all-time. I think the reason it's even an argument is because I haven't secured a second belt. Once I do that, it won't be much of an argument anymore."

Miocic told FloCombat: "Listen, I'll fight anyone. If the UFC wants me to fight Jon, I'll fight him. I'm the baddest man on the planet for a reason. He can think what he wants, whatever. Listen, at the end of the day I am relevant."


FIGHT STATS IN UFC

Jones:

- Jones has landed 1,463 of the 2,526 significant strikes he has attempted, giving him a success rate of 58 per cent.

- The 32-year-old has attempted 95 takedowns, completing 44 per cent.

- He has blocked a sensational 95 per cent of takedown attempts from his opponents, and guarded against 64 per cent of significant strikes.

- Jones lands on average 4.3 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 2.22.

Miocic:

- Of the 1,621 significant strikes Miocic has attempted, 843 have landed (a 52 per cent success rate).

- Miocic has defended 57 per cent of such strikes against him, and seen off 73 per cent of takedown attempts.

- The majority of his strikes come from a standing position (576, 68 per cent).

- In terms of grappling, Miocic has completed 25 of 66 takedowns.

Conor McGregor has urged Irish politicians to utilise military forces to make sure people adhere to the lockdown enforced amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, UFC star McGregor pledged to donate €1million worth of protective equipment to hospitals in his country, which has had over 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths.

Now, in response to the Irish government placing stricter restrictions on the general public for two weeks on Friday, McGregor wants to see the military on hand to make sure people only leave their homes if they need to buy food or their work is essential.

"We have now entered a more substantial lockdown and I am pleased to see it," McGregor said in a video uploaded to his Facebook account.

"We must abide by the legislations put forth by our leaders. Now more than ever we must abide by this and I pray for the health and safety of our country that we do.

"The fate of our lives and the lives of our loved ones depends on it."

McGregor added: "Our defence forces have been mentioned as a possibility in assisting our 50,000 Gardai available, but only if necessary.

"However, it is necessary. I urge the government to utilise our defence forces alongside Gardai Siochana and for full, 24-hour patrol. We cannot go by chance here.

"Any less than full adherence to these newly put-forward methods by any members of our society will not only be a mockery to what we are attempting to do here, it will put the rest of our great nation in danger. We just cannot take that chance.

"I know our nation will comply but please utilise all our available assets to assist with this."

The Dubliner also called on the country's airports to be closed immediately and suggested the only flights which should be allowed are ones carrying "essential medical equipment" or those returning health workers from abroad. 

McGregor concluded: "To President [Michael] Higgins, to all of our leaders, close our airports, utilise our defence forces.

"To the nation, abide by these measures impeccably."

Dana White said he is trying to build the "baddest card" in the history of sport for UFC 249, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

White has already revealed the venue for the lightweight title showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is "99.9 per cent" confirmed, though UFC 249 will be a closed event without fans due to coronavirus.

UFC 249 had originally been set for April 18 in Brooklyn, however the COVID-19 crisis has forced president White to consider other options, with additional fights possible.

"We're building a card where people can still manoeuvre and still get in," White told ESPN.

"We're trying to build the baddest card that's ever been done in the history of the sport … some of the things are going to work out, and some of the things might not work out.

"We're trying to figure out if they don't, what do we do? … Actually, Francis [Ngannou] is one of the guys we're looking at, too. Yes, yes, yes [against Jairzinho Rozenstruik]."

More than 21,100 people have died from coronavirus worldwide, while there have been over 468,600 confirmed cases.

In the United States, casualties are nearing 1,000 as cases rise to over 65,000.

The health emergency has brought sport to a standstill, while it has led to job losses across the globe.

White, however, denied a report claiming the UFC would begin laying off a number of employees due to coronavirus.

"Not true", White told TMZ Sports. "Nobody's getting laid off; it's not gonna happen!"

Conor McGregor said he is donating €1million worth of protective equipment to Irish hospitals in the battle against coronavirus.

The UFC star revealed he was making the pledge in a Twitter direct message to Paschal Donohue, the Irish Minister for Finance.

On Tuesday, Irishman McGregor had urged for a deployment of an instant "true lockdown" in a bid to combat the spread of the global pandemic, which has seen over 20,000 people die from COVID-19.

McGregor showed that Donohue responded to him via a Twitter DM, urging the Dubliner to "give some thought to how you might encourage social distancing", with the 31-year-old revealing his pledge in the subsequent reply.

In the private conversation that he made public, McGregor wrote: "Today I am purchasing myself €1million euro worth of personal protective equipment to be deployed to all the fighting hospitals in the Leinster region.

"Our most affecting region, to this date, St. James. Mater. Tallaght. Beaumont. Vincent's. Where we would be without these brave men and women, I do not know."

However, McGregor went on to implore the Irish government to enforce more draconian measures when it came to a lockdown.

"We need more units on the street to enforce this lockdown, Pascal," McGregor continued.

"It has been too lax! I seen yesterday though this has been given more of a push. I was happy to hear and I am eager to see it in effect."

McGregor cited building sites and airports remaining open as problematic, before adding: "'All in' is the term we must use here.

"Bit by bit will cost us lives.

"To see what is happening here in Ireland and all across the entire globe is heartbreaking to me." 

Two weeks ago McGregor had suggested his aunt had died after contracting coronavirus, though he later clarified that COVID-19 was not the cause of her death.

It seems no matter how many times Georges St-Pierre insists he is retired the lure of competition just proves too strong and there would be no greater challenger than the fearsome Khabib Nurmagomedov.

GSP is simply a legend in the world of MMA but he has not fought since 2017 when he defeated Michael Bisping, a fight itself that followed a four-year hiatus.

Khabib, meanwhile, has steamrollered all before him and 'the Eagle' is preparing for a mouth-watering bout with Tony Ferguson.

But, should Khabib come through that unscathed, would the prospect of a showdown for the ages be too good for GSP to turn down?

In the second instalment of our UFC dream fights we would love to see series, we have taken a closer examination of Khabib and GSP's records in the Octagon.

 

WHY DO WE WANT TO SEE THIS FIGHT?

This fight would pit an all-time great in GSP against a modern-day great in Khabib and it is a bout MMA fans are desperate to see.

Khabib is headed for the sort of career where he can quite legitimately claim to be the greatest of all time, while GSP is also in that elite category.

With awesome wrestling skills and expert striking there are not many weaknesses in Khabib's game. GSP also has few flaws, although his advancing years – he is now 38 – would probably make Khabib favourite if these two were ever to mix it.


GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

As yet, no one has been able to conquer Khabib, who is unbeaten in 28 professional MMA fights. He reached the summit of UFC's lightweight division with a dominant decision win over Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in April 2018 and has since defended the strap against Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. 

GSP is a UFC Hall of Fame shoo-in. He is a two-time welterweight champion, including nine successful defences during his second run from 2008 to 2013. In 2017, GSP defeated Bisping to become middleweight champion, which remains his last fight in the organisation. 


WHAT'S THEIR MMA RECORD (W-L-D)?

Khabib: 28-0-0

GSP: 26-2-0


TALE OF THE TAPE

Khabib:

Age: 31
Height: 5' 10" (177cm)
Weight: 155 lbs (70 kg)
Reach: 70"
Leg Reach: 40"

GSP:

Age: 38
Height: 5'11" (180cm)
Weight: 185 lbs (84kg)
Reach: 76"
Leg Reach: 42"


WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT A POTENTIAL FIGHT

"Our opponent is definitely Tony Ferguson. There's no other name that deserves it. We wanted the GSP fight, but GSP didn't get along with the UFC. If the UFC and GSP can negotiate, we want to meet GSP after the Ferguson fight," Khabib said in November on the potential for fighting GSP further down the line.

"We tried to make the right fight but it didn't work," GSP told ESPN in September. "If everything is aligned contractually, as we speak now, yes, I would [come back for Khabib]."

FIGHT STATS IN UFC

Khabib:

- Khabib has a 50 per cent significant strike accuracy, with 679 of 1364 such attempts landed.

- A highly accomplished grappler, Khabib has landed 59 of his 124 takedowns attempts for an accuracy of 48 per cent.

- He lands 4.29 significant strikes per minute, and absorbs just 1.7 from his opponents. Khabib has an average fight time of 13 minutes and 56 seconds.

- In defense too, Khabib is impressive. He has thwarted 85 per cent of takedowns, and defended against 67 per cent of significant strikes.

GSP:

- GSP has connected with 53 per cent of significant strikes, landing 1,313 of his 2,470 attempts.

- A similarly astute grappler, 90 of his 122 takedown attempts have landed for a grappling accuracy of 74 per cent.

- GSP lands 3.83 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 1.5.

- He has defended 84 per cent of the takedown attempts against him, and 73 per cent significant strikes.

Dana White said the venue for the blockbuster showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is "99.9 per cent" confirmed, though UFC 249 will be a closed event without fans due to coronavirus.

Khabib raised doubts over the scheduled lightweight title bout with Ferguson, revealing he does not know where the event is going to take place.

UFC 249 had originally been set for April 18 in Brooklyn however the COVID-19 pandemic has forced president White to consider other options.

But UFC boss White allayed fears over the Khabib-Ferguson battle on Monday.

"I do [know where it is]," White told Yahoo Sports journalist Kevin Iole during an Instagram Live session. "But I'm not ready to tell you yet. I know lots of things. … There's not going to be any fans there. It's going to be a closed event."

"Trust me, Khabib has been telling me every day, 'Send location'," White told ESPN. "I have it. It's 99.9 per cent. On April 18, we are having this fight."

White also said UFC 249 will feature a full card, adding: "We're going to face some problems, I'm sure. There are always problems with every card we put on, and with this situation, you expect there will be more, but we will still find a way to promote these fights. We always f****** do."

Coronavirus has resulted in more than 16,550 casualties worldwide, with over 381,650 cases.

In the United States, at least 580 people have died from more than 46,100 cases.

"Everybody who is going to be involved in this thing is going to be because they want to be, not because they have to be or they have to do anything," White said. "Believe me: We didn't just start thinking about safety when the coronavirus popped up.

"Health and safety, these are things that normal businesses that are out there right now don't necessarily have to think about on a daily basis. Healthy and safety is something we've been doing long before the coronavirus and we’ll be doing it long after the coronavirus is gone. This is just normal [expletive] for us."

Khabib Nurmagomedov has raised doubts over his scheduled fight with Tony Ferguson, revealing he does not even know where UFC 249 is going to take place.

The lightweight title bout was due to be staged in Brooklyn on April 18, but the coronavirus pandemic forced a rethink over the venue.

UFC has already been forced to postpone three events due to COVID-19, though president Dana White said at the time that Khabib against Ferguson was "still on".

However, having reportedly returned to Russia, Khabib - the champion at the weight - put the fight in doubt on Monday with his comments in an Instagram post.

"We can't understand what is happening at all," he said, as translated from Russian.

"Where are we fighting and are we fighting at all? What about the weigh-in and the venue for the battle. UFC 249 what are you?"

The unbeaten Khabib was last in action in September, defeating Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi to retain his title and extend his winning streak to 28 fights.

Not many can rival Conor McGregor's talking game but in Jorge Masvidal the Irishman would go head-to-head with a worthy adversary.

McGregor has forged a lucrative career in MMA by backing up his skills on the microphone inside the ring, meaning 'The Notorious' will forever be known as a UFC legend.

Masvidal has been around the block and earned a legion of fans for his all-action style but it was not really until the last year that the 'Gamebred' really rose to prominence.

While McGregor is not the natural welterweight Masvidal is, there is certainly a clamour to see the two go to war.

In the first of a series of UFC dream fights we would love to see, we closely examine McGregor and Masvidal's records in the Octagon.

WHY DO WE WANT TO SEE THIS FIGHT?

It is not just their ability to whip up a frenzy with their trash talk that would make this such an intriguing fight. The bout would be somewhat of a risk for McGregor, who is more at home in the featherweight and lightweight divisions.

McGregor has fought just three times at the 170lb welterweight limit, but a potential showdown could be a real slugfest between two supreme strikers. 

Many feel Masvidal – who also has good wrestling and grappling skills – may be too big for McGregor, but the latter has never backed down from a challenge and the bout would be a big-money draw.


GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

McGregor will forever be known as one of the greats of UFC and needed just 13 seconds to knockout the fearsome Jose Aldo and win the featherweight title in 2015.

A year later, he outclassed Eddie Alvarez to snare the lightweight strap and become the first man in UFC history to hold belts in two weight divisions simultaneously.

Masvidal is a veteran of the game but it was a trio of outstanding victories in 2019 that really saw him rise to prominence, a second-round knockout of Darren Till followed by an astonishing five-second triumph over Ben Askren.

Towards the end of year, he defeated Nate Diaz – a man familiar to McGregor, the pair having fought twice in 2016 – to become the BMF champion.


WHAT'S THEIR MMA RECORD (W-L-D)?

McGregor: 22-4-0

Masvidal: 35-13-0


TALE OF THE TAPE

McGregor:

Age: 31
Height: 5' 9" (175 cm)
Weight: 155 lbs (70 kg)
Reach 74"
Leg Reach: 40"

Masvidal:

Age: 35
Height: 5' 11" (180 cm)
Weight: 170 lbs (77 kg)
Reach: 74"
Leg Reach: 39"


WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT A POTENTIAL FIGHT

"Any one of these little mouthy fools can get it. All of them. Every single one. It does not matter," McGregor said after beating Donald Cerrone in January, a fight that Masvidal attended.

 "It's a big money fight. It's a dude that's a two-time division champion. He has some impressive records, and he comes to fight man, so in that aspect, yes," Masvidal told the Ariel Helwani Show.


FIGHT STATS IN UFC

McGregor:

- McGregor has a 49 per cent significant strike success rate. Out of 1,110 such attempts, 543 have landed. 77 per cent of these strikes come from a standing position, with 13 per cent from the ground.

- The Irishman averages 5.43 significant strikes landed per minute and absorbs 4.4.

- In defence, McGregor has avoided 55 per cent of significant strikes, and seen off 70 per cent of takedown attempts.

- The majority of McGregor's attempts are to the head, with 383 (71 per cent) landed in that area, compared to 92 (17 per cent) and 68 (13 per cent) to the body and legs.

Masvidal:

- Masvidal has a slightly lower significant strike accuracy of 49 per cent. 967 of his 1,957 attempted strikes have landed.

- The Miami native is more aggressive than McGregor in his attempt to try takedowns, completing 15 of 31.

- Masvidal has impressive defensive abilities, protecting himself against 67 per cent of significant strikes and 78 takedown attempts.

- The stats show his targets for striking are a little more varied. 526 (62 per cent) of his strikes have landed on the head, with 204 (24 per cent) and 122 (14 per cent) to the body and legs.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to leave little in the way of live action on the sporting calendar.

Most events have been put on hold or cancelled across the world due to the spread of COVID-19.

There are still some competitions going ahead on Friday, though, and here are five of the best to look forward to.


Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City - A-League

Australia's top football division continues, albeit with a reduced schedule and games being staged behind closed doors - including both of Friday's matches.

The Mariners will be out to avoid unwanted club history as they host Melbourne City. Alen Stajcic's team are on a nine-match losing run, just one short of their previous worst streak of 10 in a row.

 

Dundalk - horse racing

Horse racing has been suspended in the United Kingdom until the end of April, but Horse Racing Ireland has opted to carry on racing after implementing stringent controls.

Friday's sole meeting will take place at Dundalk, where Cautious Approach, Juliet Rose and Sebs Star are all in action.

Cage Warriors 113 - MMA

Friday's blockbuster will now be held in Manchester after moving from London and is another event being held without spectators in attendance.

Darren Stewart and Bartosz Fabinski meet in the headline fight, while Mason Jones and Joe McColgan will battle it out for the vacant lightweight title.

Brisbane Broncos v South Sydney Rabbitohs - NRL

The NRL has introduced a self-isolation programme for its players in a desperate attempt to keep games on.

And that means plenty of focus will be on the grudge match between the Broncos and the Rabbitohs, who will both be looking to maintain winning starts to the season.

 

Western Bulldogs v Collingwood - AFL

Aussie Rules football got under way at an empty MCG on Thursday and the action continues with Western Bulldogs taking on Collingwood Magpies.

The Magpies begin their assault for a record-equalling 16th title - and a first in a decade - against their Melbourne rivals at Docklands Stadium.

Khabib Nurmagomedov's lightweight title fight against Tony Ferguson will go ahead despite the next three UFC events being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dana White has announced.

Fight Night 170 in Brasilia last Saturday had to be contested in front of an empty arena and the situation in the United Kingdom led to UFC London, which was scheduled for March 21, being relocated.

UFC president White managed to source an alternate location and a replacement for Leon Edwards, who was due to face former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, which was reportedly Gilbert Burns.

However, after guidance from the United States president Donald Trump on Monday urged against gatherings of more than 10 people, White was forced to cancel the next three cards.

He remains confident Nurmagomedov's meeting with Ferguson – which has not happened previously despite being slated on four separate occasions – will go ahead, even if it has to be moved from Brooklyn to a different country.

"We're ready to go on Saturday from Fire Lake Arena, Indian reservation in Oklahoma City. We have the card, we have the fighters, we have everything," White said on ESPN.

"But obviously the president just spoke to the country and basically said now – it started at 50 people in a room which made it difficult so we complied, we took all the fans out and we made sure there were as few production people in the room as possible. But we pulled it off last Saturday. Now there saying there should be no more than 10 in a room.

"That's impossible. We can't do it. We've complied with everything the government and doctors have said to do and we have no choice now but to postpone these fights.

"So we're postponing the next three events, but Tony Ferguson versus Khabib, April 18, is still on and that will still happen.

"These three fights that are postponed, they will still happen. And Khabib-Tony is on for the original date. We're gonna keep fighting."

He added: "We're gonna follow these guidelines and we're hoping this all clears up by April. This fight [Nurmagomedov versus Ferguson] is gonna happen, no crowd, whatever it takes. It's probably not gonna be in the United States, but it's gonna happen."

Woodley stated he was now turning his attention to a meeting with Colby Covington

"When we are back up and running it'll be me and Clout Chasing Covington. Don't want to hear another name!" Woodley posted on Instagram.

Edwards was unwilling to let him get away, though, saying on Twitter: "Tell that boy he can't run from me his a** whooping is just delayed."

UFC president Dana White said fights will go ahead despite coronavirus and travel restrictions forcing the organisation to seek new venues, as he allayed fears over Khabib Nurmagomedov's upcoming battle with Tony Ferguson.

The UFC Fight Night event in London is set to be moved after the United States expanded on travel restrictions to and from Europe, with the United Kingdom and Ireland now included amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley's bout with Leon Edwards was to headline Fight Night at the O2 Arena in London on March 21, however, the UFC is planning to relocate the event to the USA.

"Obviously, things are changing by the hour," White told ESPN. "This morning, they announced new travel restrictions for the U.K., so [the March 21 event] can't continue in London. But the fight will go on.

"We're working on finding a new venue, likely in the United States, and I have my matchmakers literally working right now to put together the undercard.

"As of now, fights can't happen at the Apex here in Las Vegas. So, we're working to find new locations, but the fights will go on; they will continue. We're not stopping."

There have been doubts over the UFC's next major pay-per-view event – UFC 249 in Brooklyn on April 18. All large gatherings of more than 500 people have been banned by New York amid a state of emergency.

The lightweight title blockbuster pitting Nurmagomedov against Ferguson is the main event and White insisted the showdown will take place somewhere.

"We had possibly a couple different venues for that fight, including Nevada," White said. "So, now the whole Nevada [the Nevada State Commission suspended all combat sports events in the state] thing went down, so we're looking for another venue. I hope by [Sunday morning], I should have two venue options for that fight.

"That fight will happen. It will go on. The fans are all freaking out about that, do not worry. Khabib versus Tony will happen."

UFC star Conor McGregor has clarified that his aunt did not die from coronavirus after previously suggesting as such on social media.

On Friday, the Irishman paid tribute to his relative and expressed his concerns about the continued spread of COVID-19 across the world in an Instagram post.

The 31-year-old opened up on his heartbreak at hearing the news and said: "My poor little friendly loving auntie. This stupid f****** virus. What the f*** is happening."

However, McGregor has posted another message to explain his close relative did not die as a result of contracting the respiratory illness.

Alongside an image of his aunt holding him as a child, McGregor said: "I want to clear up that it has been confirmed she was not a victim of coronavirus.

"I am grateful for the kind wishes and sympathy for my auntie's passing.

"As we prepare for her funeral, I know that many of us will confront the virus in the weeks ahead.

"As I gather with my family, I ask you all to make an extra effort to be there for friends and family during the stressful days ahead."

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