Former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson appears to be agitated about not fighting Dustin Poirier at UFC 254 on October 24. The fight was originally tabbed as the co-main event for the card but was later dropped because the UFC didn’t want to pay Poirier what he desired for the fight.
“I’m going to be real,” Ferguson told ESPN (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “I don’t know what their plans were before or after, but I was already ready. I was already counting on it. Seriously, I planned around it. I’m not much of a planner, so I was already going ahead of it, but then Dana wanted to speak for me. He wanted to go out there and be like, ‘Tony is going to take this fight.’ Like, bro, we’re not friends. I never said we were friends.”
Ferguson described what could be seen as feeling used by White and the UFC.
“It’s just business, right? I’m there when you need me, and then obviously when you don’t,” Ferguson said. “Seriously, man. I’m a contractor. I do my thing. I love him and I love UFC and stuff like that, but I’m just a piece of meat out there. Do you know what I mean?”
Ferguson Blasted UFC Over Next Opponent Choice
Ferguson also blasted the company and its matchmakers for asking him to fight three-time Bellator champion and recent UFC signee Michael Chandler next, per ESPN.
“Now, they’re bringing in a new dude, who I have no…clue who he is,” Ferguson said. “…the dude has less than 100,000 (followers) on Twitter. You’re going to try to get him more notoriety by throwing him against me and throw him on the Khabib card. I get that, but don’t pay [him] more than us. He has zero time in the UFC.”
Chandler didn’t seem too happy about the way Ferguson described him. He posted, “You Turned Down The Fight With Me October 24 On The Biggest Card Of The Year…Now You’re Talking?”
You Turned Down The Fight With Me October 24 On The Biggest Card Of The Year…Now You’re Talking?
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) October 7, 2020
Still, Ferguson eventually admitted he’d be down to fight Chandler next – if the UFC was willing to offer him better pay.
“I got to the point where I’m like, ‘You know what? I want to fight. Chandler…let’s put it on paper. UFC, let’s make the money right. Let’s make it interesting.’ I draw pay-per-view buys,” Ferguson said.
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Ferguson Still Wants Khabib Nurmagomedov
In the end, Ferguson said he still wants next crack at UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and that he’s willing to fight whoever they want him to fight so he can earn that chance.
“Everybody wants me to fight Khabib right?” Ferguson said. “But I’ve got to earn my right back. OK, cool. Who’s it going to be?”
“You don’t owe these people anymore,.. you’ve given them everything.”
“Not Everything.” Risen From The Ashes, Fearless 🍃 @danawhite
⚔️🕶 -CSO- 🇺🇸🏆🇲🇽 # J.H. edit pic.twitter.com/C2gnCDriz1
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) September 27, 2020
Ferguson mentioned Chandler and Poirier as potential options for his next, but some have also suggested Ferguson might be in line to face Conor McGregor next.
Regardless, no matter how all that goes down, Ferguson made three things super clear.
He wants to fight.
He wants to be paid.
He’s not friends with the UFC president.
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