UFC's Khabib reminds Russians to follow 'advice and requests of doctors' in country's battle with coronavirus

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UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is pleading with the public to respect the “advice and requests of doctors” to stay at home after Russia saw a spike in COVID-19 cases this week.

Nurmagomedov dropped out of the heavily anticipated UFC 249 fight earlier this month after both the date and location had been up in the air as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. He came under fire for refusing to commit to rescheduling the fight saying he did not want to break quarantine.

KHABIB SAYS HE WON’T BREAK QUARANTINE, UFC 249 FIGHT IS OFF

Nurmagomedov returned to Dagestan where he has remained since but on Monday he took to Instagram to share his apparent frustrations with those he says still “don’t believe in the seriousness of the situation.”

“ … our negligence toward the advice and requests of doctors, coupled with the panic that has developed among the people, has led to a high rate of the spread of the disease, worsening an already difficult situation every day,” he said, according to a translation of his post.

“Believe me. This disease is deadly and we already feel it. Staying at home, we can reduce the burden on doctors and hospitals, and perhaps our timely care will save lives. Take care of your loved ones, do not let them out of the house unnecessarily.”

Russia has seen a significant increase in cases over the past few days. On Wednesday morning, there were 99,399 confirmed cases -- a 6.2 percent increase from the previous day.

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UFC president Dana White announced this week the UFC 249 fight will take place in Florida next month without fans. The event will be headlined by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.