After nearly a month of back-and-forth squabbles and hard-balling, a fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov has finally come together for UFC 209 on March 4, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight seemed dead after Ferguson demanded the same amount of money as Khabib; indeed, first Dana White said there was no way in hell that'd happen, and then Ferguson turned down an unusual offer from Khabib's family to make up the $200,000 difference between their salaries.
Now, Ferguson has just gone on MMAJunkie Radio to explain how things ended up working out. And while he wasn't willing to give any numbers, he sounded pretty satisfied with the results.
“They met my standards. Khabib’s offer I threw right out the window immediately. That was some trashy kind of thing. But, we’re good to go. We’re full swing ahead. We worked out financial terms. ... I know what I’m worth and I know my numbers, and that dude’s padded record is nowhere near my contention, my type of fights that I’ve had and presented to the world.”
If true, this is the latest fighter to successfully hold out for more money than their current contract provided. While I'm always down for the athletes earning extra, it's certainly another sign that 2017 will be a year where every major fight will be a negotiation that could impact the number of great match ups we end up seeing in the Octagon. But so far, it seems to be working out for the fighters ... unless your name happens to be Georges St-Pierre.
Ferguson also took at shot at Nurmagomedov over a back-and-forth exchange over Twitter:
“He’s telling me to go train and shut up? I’m like, ‘Man, you talk too much already, son. You talk too much. You are looking at me and you responded in like 2.2 minutes, son. You’re worse than a stalker ex-girlfriend. You’re looking at me like a hawk, an eagle and I want you to do that because you’re going to be stressing about what I’m going to do."
The fight just got announced and already things are heating up nicely. It's like UFC didn't even have to slap an interim Lightweight title designation onto this fight to sell it or something!
Meanwhile, Khabib is missing out on some relatively balmy 0-degree weather in Dagestan right now to train in California, where he just got tested by USADA. "Why I love USADA?" he asked rhetorically on Instagram. "Because they change the game, Because they change a lot of fighters who cheating."
Why I love USADA? Because they change the game, Because they change a lot of fighters who cheating. #usada. Почему мне нравится usada? Да потому что они изменили всю игру, и с их приходом изменилось столько чемпионов и бойцов, которые стабильно показывали результат. Обратите внимание, чем раньше, сейчас постоянно меняются чемпионы, но раньше такого не было ведь, и как вы думаете почему? Да потому что все на равных условиях. #юсадабомба
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