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McGregor's Coach Dismisses Rumors of "The Notorious" Replacing Khabib at UFC 249 Against Ferguson

Conor McGregor's head coach John Kavanagh dismissed on Friday all speculation about the possible replacement of Russian lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagamedov with the Irish fighter at UFC 249.

Following Khabib's withdrawal from the fight with Tony Ferguson earlier this month amid the coronavirus pandemic, "The Notorious" claimed that he was in “fight shape” thus generating speculation that he could be featured in the UFC 249 that was slated for 18 April.

“No chance of that. 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,” Kavanagh told ESPN on Friday.

On 1 April, Khabib Nurmagomedov said the fight against Tony Ferguson that was scheduled for 18 April was cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak. Following the announcement, Ferguson said that the Russian fighter should be deprived of his champion's belt.

Days prior to the announcement, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) head Dana White said that he had had to constantly overcome problems while organising UFC 249 featuring Khabib Nurmagamedov.

At that time, Mr White said that there were five places where the UFC 249 bout could be held, though the organisation will only be able to schedule it after it finally decides on the arena.

The fight was initially planned to be held in Florida, but Khabib's father refused to fly to the US.

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