Dana White: Khabib-Ferguson “Ain’t Happening”
Ahead of UFC 207, UFC President Dana White turned back the clocks by participating in his own media scrum. He answered questions about a number of hot topics in the sport, including the rumored contract dispute that is holding up the lightweight contenders’ matchup between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
According to White, the rumors of Ferguson holding out for more money are true — and the #2 lightweight is unlikely to get his wish.
“We were trying to make that fight. Tony said he will not do that fight unless he makes the same exact money that Khabib makes,” White said. “Khabib has a different deal, so that ain’t happening. So count that one out.”
White went on a lengthy rant about fighters who look at the money their peers are making and then ask for a new deal. Ferguson signed a contract (recently, White says) and if he wants a new contract he will need to finish his current one.
“Ride the thing out and become a free agent, but honor your deal,” White said. “I have to honor all of my deals. Imagine if I didn’t honor a deal? You guys would be f*cking all over me, man. Right? ‘Oh my God, he didn’t honor that deal with this guy.’ And as far as these guys that they look and they start – I hate when guys start counting other people’s money.
“Nobody feels happy for anybody. Everybody counts everybody else’s money and wants to rip up a deal after we make a deal. That’s not the way a deal works.”
Ferguson has been on a nine-fight winning streak in the lightweight division, last beating former champion Rafael Dos Anjos by unanimous decision in November. He and Nurmagomedov have been on a collision course for over a year after a number of matchups between the two fell through.
If White keeps his word and Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson does not happen, there is another rumored matchup for the interim lightweight title that has been making headlines. Featherweight champion Jose Aldo, hellbent on a rematch with Conor McGregor, has said that he has been offered a fight with Nurmagomedov that was turned down by the Russian contender.
While that fight may be off the table for now, White is intrigued in the matchup.
“[Aldo] asked for Khabib, because Khabib’s looked at as the guy in that weight division,” White said. “He wanted to fight him. Khabib’s dad didn’t want him to fight. Khabib’s dad wants him to rest. … I like that fight. Khabib and Jose Aldo would be fun. I’m in.”