UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has announced that he will not break coronavirus quarantine to fight in UFC 249 in two weeks' time.
UFC president Dana White has repeatedly announced his intention to stage the show, despite it having to be moved from Brooklyn following the partial US crackdown on the spread of the virus.
But Nurmagomedov, who was scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson on the card, revealed in an Instagram post that he is currently in his native Dagestan and where he expects to remain for the foreseeable future.
Nurmagomedov insisted that "the whole world should be in quarantine", adding: "I understand everything and I'm definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight.
"The greatest countries and the largest companies of our time are shocked by what is happening, every day the situation changes unpredictably. But Khabib still has to fight, is that what you saying?
"Take care of yourself and put yourself in my shoes."
Ferguson said Nurmagomedov was "scared" and should be stripped of his title.
"He was in Abu Dhabi, he had his chance to be able to come back before the borders were closed in Russia," Ferguson told ESPN.
"He decided to go back to Dagestan, did not finish his camp.
"The guy does not want to fight. He's scared, he's running. He should be stripped of his title."
The UFC has said it was keen to host the event at a new location on the same date and Ferguson confirmed he would stay on the card.
"It doesn't matter who we have. We're gonna try to make this thing go," Ferguson added. "At least some of the people in the world have a little bit of hope."