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White confirms UFC fight will go ahead without Khabib after Twitter drama

Rituraj Borkakoty/Dubai
Filed on April 6, 2020
The central character in this Twitter drama was Russian UFC superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov (Reuters)

Khabib was scheduled to fight Ferguson at the Barclays Center in New York on April 18

While top athletes around the world continue to engage fans on social media at the time of social distancing, some people are out there to cause pandemonium on Twitter.

And on Saturday night, it was the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fans that were knocked down by one such Twitter user.

The central character in this Twitter drama was Russian UFC superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov, the reigning UFC lightweight champion.

Despite Khabib's recent statement that his high-profile fight with American Tony Ferguson would not go ahead, a Twitter user tried to mislead the UFC fans, and succeeded in some style, garnering thousands of retweets.

Khabib, the man with the longest undefeated run in MMA history (28-0), was scheduled to fight Ferguson at the Barclays Center in New York on April 18.

But Khabib, who has been in quarantine in Russia, announced on his Instagram page on April 2 that the fight was cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements ... and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight? I understand everything and I'm definitely more upset than you to cancel the fight. Probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I can't control it all," Khabib said on Instagram.

But Twitter user @arielheIvani still succeeded in making people believe that the fight was back on track.

"UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov's fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 was reportedly back on after UFC president Dana White reached a deal with Russian president Vladimir Putin," wrote @arielheIvani on Saturday night.

The reason behind @arielheIvani's success in misleading people is that his Twitter handle sounds similar to ESPN sports reporter TAriel Helwani's Twitter handle -- @arielhelwani.

But UFC president Dana White soon cleared the confusion on the microblogging site.
"Absolutely NOT true!!! The card is happening but @TeamKhabib is out. I will announce the entire card tomorrow," White replied to @arielheIvani's tweet.

While White's tweet did confirm that Khabib is out of the fight, but it still left fans with unanswered questions.

Who will be Khabib's replacement if the UFC still wants a fight on April 18?

And where will the organisers host the fight considering the current crisis in the United States due to Covid-19?

The UFC fans will now be waiting with bated breath to get these answers.

And hopefully, no one is going to throw them in at the deep end now.

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