Khabib teammate dropped from UFC card after US visa woes – media
Zubaira Tukhugov reportedly cannot enter the United States
Russian star Zubaira Tukhugov has been removed from his forthcoming clash with UFC rival Nate Landwehr after he was reportedly unable to obtain a visa to fight in the United States.
Tukhugov, 31, had been due to fight former M-1 featherweight champion Landwehr at an upcoming UFC event in the Apex facility in Las Vegas on August 6, but promotion officials will now scramble to find a replacement opponent amid a report from Nolan King of USA Today that he has been refused the necessary documentation to compete in the US.
The Russian fighter has not competed in the United States since 2015, with both of his previous Octagon outings taking place in Abu Dhabi.
I’m hearing Zubaira Tukhugov is having some travel/visa issues and is off #UFCVegas59. Nate Landwehr awaits a new Aug. 6 opponent. TBD. pic.twitter.com/dQ8d31DAAu
— Nolan King (@mma_kings) July 18, 2022
Tukhugov’s apparent visa issues mirror those reportedly experienced by his sometimes training partner Abubakar Nurmagomedov, the cousin of UFC icon Khabib.
Abubakar was slated to compete at last Saturday’s UFC event in Long Island but was also removed from the card after experiencing immigration issues of his own, according to TASS.
Unlike Tukhugov, Nurmagomedov’s most recent fight took place in the United States in March of last year.
Both Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov were involved in the infamous UFC 229 post-fight brawl immediately following the fight between Khabib and Conor McGregor, with both men entering the cage after the contest where they assaulted the Irishman.
Both fighters were subsequently suspended for one year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission – however the reasoning behind their respective visa issues remains unclear.
Several high-profile combat sports stars have recently fallen foul of US immigration officials.
World heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury is understood to have been denied entry to the United States on two separate occasions recently, reportedly after his name was included in a 600-strong ‘no fly’ list by US officials owing to his prior ties with alleged Irish mobster Daniel Kinahan.
Fury’s half-brother Tommy was also refused access to the US in advance of his boxing match with Jake Paul; a decision which led to the cancelation of their fight.
READ MORE: Jake Paul makes Tommy Fury claim after British fighter ‘denied US entry’ (VIDEO)
Meanwhile, Russian NHL star Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild was reportedly refused re-entry to the US this month on two occasions – something which was blamed on him not having the correct work visa to play in the country.
It is also understood that there remains a significant backlog of visa requests to be processed by US authorities which built up throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.