No, UFC president Dana White has not cancelled UFC 249: Khabib vs. Ferguson. At least, not yet. He did, however, add to the concern that many are expressing as the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been elevated from epidemic to pandemic status.
White posted to his Instagram stories late Wednesday night, which was actually a re-share of an RT Sports post that teased about the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight being cancelled.
Here is the image White shared to his Instagram stories:
The post was likely made somewhat in jest, as White has recently commented about not wanting to go into a mode where he starts shutting down UFC events or hosting events without an audience, such as ONE Championship has opted to do.
It is even more poignant for this particular bout because Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson has been scheduled no less than four times. Every time it has been scheduled the fight has been nixed for one reason or another: injuries, weight cut issues, etc.
If the bout were to be cancelled again because of the coronavirus pandemic, many are calling it the most cursed match-up in UFC history.
The coronavirus has already threatened this weekend's UFC on ESPN+ 28 in Brasilia, where recently implemented government restrictions will either cancel the event or force it to move forward without a ticketed audience in the 16,000-seat Ginásio Nilson Nelson arena. MMAWeekly.com is still working to confirm the status of UFC Brasilia.
The re-classification of the COVID-19 from an epidemic to a pandemic has government bodies scrambling across the world, many of which are putting their cities or regions on lockdown or cancelling gatherings of any significant size.
TRENDING > KSW 53 becomes latest MMA event cancelled because of coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic
The World Health Organization has the following advice for the public to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) :
Wash your hands frequently
Maintain social distancing
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Practice respiratory hygiene
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
The Center for Disease Control also warns that older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.