REPORT | Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje In The Works For UFC 249

Justin Gaethje

The UFC is hoping to make Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje as the new main event for their card scheduled for April 18.

‘El Cucuy’ was supposed to fight lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title but that is now unlikely due to travel restrictions in the 155lb titleholder’s homeland of Russia.

Top lightweight contender Justin Gaethje is riding a three-fight winning streak and has been calling for a title shot for some time. ‘The Highlight’ may well get the next best thing by filling in at UFC 249 in one of the biggest fights in MMA history.

In a series of social media posts ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani reacted to news of Nurmagomedov’s potential withdrawal from the card, introduced Gaethje as a likely replacement and also spoke other options that have been considered by the UFC, he said.

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“Khabib Nurmagomedov confirmed in an IG live chat earlier today that he is in Russia and can’t leave because they have closed their borders. He also said UFC has told him they are looking at another opponent for Tony Ferguson because the fight can’t be made now.”

“(RT Sport first translated Nurmagomedov’s chat.) According to sources, UFC is aware of Nurmagomedov’s status and have now begun looking at alternate plans for the April 18 main event and card, which they are still determined to put on.”

“As a result, Tony Ferguson, per sources, has been offered a fight against top contender Justin Gaethje, however, that fight has not been agreed upon nor finalized. Neither has a location for the event.”

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“UFC has also briefly considered trying to book usman v masvidal for April 18 but that is not looking likely at the moment, sources say.”

As of right now, nothing is official from the UFC, who have been working around the clock to make UFC 249 happen despite the coronavirus pandemic and media backlash.

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This story is still breaking. Stay tuned to for all the updates as they happen.