Friday afternoon, unfortunate news surfaced that UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov had been taken to the hospital. This report was promptly followed by another one which revealed that Khabib had been pulled from the fight.
Unfortunately, with Nurmagomedov off the card, the UFC opted to also pull Tony Ferguson from the card, leaving fight fans with no co-main event. Since then, the promotion announced that Lando Vannata vs. David Teymur had been promoted to the co-main event.
During Friday’s UFC 209 ceremonial weigh-in, UFC President Dana White placed the blame on Nurmagomedov’s team, who he believes when “rouge”.
“BASICALLY, HIS TEAM HAD DECIDED TO TAKE HIM TO JUST SOME RANDOM HOSPITAL HERE IN LAS VEGAS INSTEAD OF PICKING UP THE PHONE AND CALLING OUR DOCTOR AND CALLING BRIANNA [MATTISON], WHO RUNS ALL THE MEDICALS,” SAID WHITE EARLIER TONIGHT (FRI., MAR. 3, 2017) DURING UFC 209’S WEIGH-IN SHOW. “THEY WENT ROGUE AND WENT OUT AND DID THEIR OWN THING. HAD THEY DONE THIS THING THE RIGHT WAY, THE FIGHT PROBABLY COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED.”
In regards to how Nurmagomedov is doing health-wise, White stated:
“IT’S NEVER GOOD,” ADDED WHITE. “IF YOU’RE DOING IT AND THINGS ARE GOING BAD, IT’S BAD ON YOUR KIDNEYS, IT’S BAD ON YOUR LIVER. IT’S JUST BAD ALL THE WAY AROUND. HE’S DOING BETTER NOW. OBVIOUSLY, HE’S OK. HE’S GONNA BE FINE. BUT YEAH. IT’S NEVER GOOD.”
Since being pulled from the fight, Nurmagomedov’s team released a statement on their fighter’s withdrawal, saying:
“THE MOST IMPORTANT THING RIGHT NOW IS KHABIB’S HEALTH. HE’S CURRENTLY RESTING IN HIS ROOM. WE’RE NOT THINKING ABOUT WHAT’S NEXT AT THIS TIME.
“I WANT TO SINCERELY APOLOGIZE TO TONY, HIS TEAM, THE UFC AND THE FANS. WE WERE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS FIGHT VERY MUCH.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/3/2017.