One of the most heavily anticipated events of the year in terms of fighting sports is scheduled to take place on April 18th with the unrelenting Khabib defending his lightweight title against the former champion Tony Ferguson.
Dana White ensures the location, but only the ones willing to fight will compete
The head of the UFC, Dana White, has already ensured that UFC 249 won’t take place at the Barclays Center in New York according to what was initially planned, and although he hasn’t announced the location where it will be transferred to, it is already certain that it won’t have any spectators.
Despite the alarmism with the recent worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the truth is that Dana White maintains his optimism and seems convicted that the event will really take place, highlighting that he has already warned that only the fighters who want to fight will do so, because nobody can be forced to fight on the current circumstances.
The controversy surrounding the event has been increasing as the world crisis gets more serious and a lot of people are suggesting that this kind of events need to be avoided for safety reasons. However, Dana White doesn’t seem willing to postpone one of the most awaited fights by the MMA fans for the 5th time.
Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his invincibility
This is a heavily anticipated fight for two special reasons: firstly, because it will be the 5th time that these two athletes will try to face off after the event failed to occur on the 4 previous occasions due to several injuries from both sides.
And secondly, because Khabib remains undefeated in the UFC with an extraordinary record of 12-0, already also having beaten the well-known Conor McGregor.
Since 2015, these two amazing athletes are trying to settle the score, highlighting that Tony Ferguson was already interim lightweight champion and is currently on a streak of 12 consecutive victories that certainly motivate him immensely to try and dethrone Khabib, the kid that trained by fighting against bears.
Tony Ferguson: "Take off your glasses"
Khabib: *not wearing any glasses*
— Kakashi (@Kakashi281991) March 7, 2020
Generally speaking, the numbers of the Russian are even scarier to the competition with 28 victories and 0 losses on his entire Mixed Martial Arts’ (MMA) career. As for Tony Ferguson, who is 5 years older than the Russian, he has an equally amazing record of 25-3. However, his 36 years of age might be a problem for “El Cucuy”, a North American that
will try to capitalize on his height advantage.
Ferguson has 1.93m while the Russian is only 1.78m. However, if the fight goes to the ground, everything should be more difficult for the American who will need to keep the fight standing up for as long as possible.
Favouritism of the champion
Without great surprise, Khabib is favoured to win in this fight and retain his UFC lightweight title. The Russian fighter is also looking to maintain his pristine career record against one of the most dangerous opponents in the game.
There is some curiosity regarding the potential stamina of the North American and the markets are even suggesting that he has good chances of resisting at least 4 rounds, offering odds of 1.75 for the fight to go “Over 3.5 Rounds”.But if you’re fancying another beatdown from Khabib on the competition, then you might consider the opposite option, betting on “Under 3.5 Rounds” with interesting odds of 2.00 according to 1XBet.
— Kashmir Sports Watch (@Ksportswatch) March 24, 2020
This will be a fight taking place on a location yet to be announced that won’t have a lot of influence on the outcome of the fight, since the crowd won’t have an impact on the fight atmosphere.
With the event originally scheduled to New York, there was the expectation that the home fighter would have that extra advantage, but that is no longer a reality and now there are already rumours that the event can be moved to the United Arab Emirates, on a complete neutral ground and without an audience.
This would be an event with immense media coverage and that should be the case regardless, although the live audience is obviously a shortcoming for the TV broadcast that should still count with a large audience, especially if we take into consideration that most of the other sports around the world are suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak that has been affecting the entire planet since the start of the year.