Conor McGregor may have teased fans about the possibility of stepping in at UFC 249, but his coach has seemingly doused any hopes of "The Notorious" fighting Tony Ferguson.
With the event just 15 days away, it's becoming increasingly likely that the Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov match-up will be scrapped for the fifth time since 2015.
Nurmagomedov is stranded in his native Russia where the borders are closed because of the global Covid-19 outbreak. And coach John Kavanagh told ESPN in an Instagram Live it's the same deal for Irishman McGregor.
"No chance of that," Kavanagh said. "Ireland is on a pretty strict lockdown. Me and Conor have no physical interactions. There's no physical interaction at the gym. Gyms are shut down."
Ferguson has said "nobody deserves that ass whooping besides two people" - McGregor and Nurmagomedov - as he poured cold water on any possibility of fighting No 4-ranked lightweight Justin Gaethje on April 18. UFC president Dana White is also still desperately trying to find a location for the show, which can no longer be held at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York.
"To try and rush that together, I just don't think it would be smart," Kavanagh added. "He certainly isn't fighting so that he has food for the next six months. That's not where he is in his life."
McGregor had raised fans' hopes when he tweeted "I'm in shape to fight right now" after Nurmagomedov seemingly ruled himself out of the fight. The Irishman had been saying for months he would be ready to step in if either man dropped out, given the history of the bout.
But Kavanagh revealed that Gaethje was a more likely next opponent for the former two-weight champion before the escalation of the virus outbreak saw the UFC postpone three events, with more up in the air.
"(Gaethje) was certainly one of the ones that was being talked about," Kavanagh said. "That was right up there."
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