Tony Ferguson Explains Why He Isn’t Fighting At UFC 254
Tony Ferguson has revealed what went wrong during negotiations for a fight at UFC 254.
UFC President Dana White made it clear that he wanted “El Cucuy” to compete on October 24. At first, the matchup to make was Ferguson vs. Dustin Poirier. Once negotiations between Poirier and the UFC fell apart, White said he had an opponent in mind for Ferguson and didn’t expect “El Cucuy” to turn it down. That fighter ended up being Michael Chandler, and Ferguson didn’t take the fight.
Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Ferguson explained why he ultimately decided not to compete at UFC 254 (h/t MMAJunkie.com).
“The UFC kept delaying telling us the (Poirier) fight was confirmed. It was like, the minute they asked, I’m still training for Dustin, for the Chandler thing. Now, they’re bringing in a new dude, who I have no (expletive) clue who he is. I’m not trying to (expletive) on him from a marketing standpoint, but 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 the (expletive) more than us. He has zero time in the UFC. I don’t know about ‘roids and all that stuff. I don’t get into that (expletive) with everybody.”
Headlining the UFC 254 card will be a title unification bout. UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will meet interim titleholder Justin Gaethje. Chandler will be on standby in case either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje can’t make it to fight night.
Ferguson last competed back in May. He took on Justin Gaethje for the interim UFC Lightweight Title. Ferguson lost the bout via fifth-round TKO. The defeat snapped “El Cucuy’s” 12-fight winning streak. He hadn’t suffered a loss since May 2012.