A UFC star revealed Thursday that he wouldn’t be competing at UFC 254 on August 8 as originally planned after all. Former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier appeared to be on his way to facing fellow former interim gold winner Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson in the co-main event of UFC 254. Now, the American says that fight is off.
“UFC and I didn’t come to terms,” Poirier said per ESPN. “I will not be fighting on Oct. 24.”
UFC 254 is scheduled for October 24 in Abu Dhabi.
‘I Just Need To Be Compensated’
Poirier vs. Ferguson was a riveting 155-pound matchup that would have served as the perfect co-main event for the main event battle between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Justin Gaethje.
Poirier previously told ESPN that he was down for the fight so long as he was paid what he thought he was worth for it.
“I just need to be compensated if they want this fight,” Poirier said. “Simple as that.”
The 31-year-old just came out the winning end of a five-round war against Dan Hooker in June but was ready to climb back into the cage already to face Ferguson next at UFC 254 for the right price.
But Poirier and the UFC just couldn’t agree to that price.
“I’m a prizefighter and the prize needs to be right,” Poirier said.
UFC 254: ‘Card Full of Killers’
Now, the event that Nurmagomedov hoped would be a “card full of killers” will be decidedly less so.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) September 2, 2020
While the main event between the top two 155-pound fighters in the sport should still be a barnburner, the planned co-main event between Poirier and Ferguson looked on paper as if it could turn out to be a Fight of the Year candidate.
Moreover, with both Poirier and Ferguson ranked among the top three contenders in the UFC’s 155-pound division, either man could have theoretically stepped in for the main event if either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje needed a late replacement opponent.
Now, the company would seem to need to find a worthy opponent for Ferguson at UFC 254.
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What’s Next for Ferguson?
What’s next for Ferguson now that his proposed fight against Poirier is off the table?
Ferguson lost his chance at facing Nurmagomedov at UFC 249 earlier this year when Gaethje stepped into the main event fight on short notice after Nurmagomedov had to pull out of the promotion due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It seems likely Ferguson would love to have the same chance Gaethje had at stepping into a big fight on late notice for a chance to score a huge win at UFC 254.
But that would be made tons easier for everyone involved if Ferguson had an opponent lined up for UFC 254. That would keep the 36-year-old American training for the fight and put him in Abu Dhabi for the event.
Now, the UFC will hope it can either change Poirier’s mind about the fight or find Ferguson a credible opponent.
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