Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently revealed that Tony Ferguson’s demand for more pay is what has stalled numerous attempts to make a much-anticipated fight between he and fellow top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov.
White is adamant that "El Cucuy" won’t be getting a raise anytime soon and has to honor the contract he currently has. It’s a sentiment that puzzles Ferguson, who says UFC has a history of renegotiating contracts for certain fights; and you have to look no further than this past weekend, as the promotion paid Ronda Rousey $3 million for her return fight against Amanda Nunes.
A huge bump from her reported base salary of $75,000 to fight Holly Holm at UFC 193.
While Ferguson didn’t go as far to say he deserves as much as "Rowdy" or reveal exactly how much more he wants, he stated on The MMA Hour that he wants to get compensated what he feel his numbers and his current win streak prove he deserves.
"I’m not sure. Ask them. I don’t know why they're not paying me and then maybe we will get some answers. But, I haven't had the opportunities they have. Over my last five fights I have only been on one pay-per-view (PPV) and all the rest have been on FOX Sports 1 cards, which limits my mainstream exposure, bro. Khabib has been on three PPV’s and two UFC on FOX cards which draws much larger audience than Fox Sports 1 cards. There is nothing to suggest that Khabib draws any more than me. I haven’t been given the same opportunities or exposure as Khabib. I don’t belong to AKA or a big major sports program. I choose to do different things on my own. As far as compensation has, UFC has been known to change it over the history, and I’m just looking for them to get this thing going. Let’s go UFC."
As far as Khabib’s recent $200k bonus offer to accept the fight, Ferguson said it’s not about that type of compensation, it’s about getting paid what he feels he deserves by the promotion.
"If you got Khabib willing to sacrifice his life and give me $200,000 of his own money to fight, something’s wrong with that shit. I’m not going to take his money, he’s got a family, too, and he’s got bills to pay. I’m not going after Khabib’s (money), I want what's mine and to be compensated for what my numbers prove to be. So, let’s go kids."
This very public $4 billion transaction has seriously proven to be a thorn in the promotion’s side, as everyone now wants a bigger slice of the pie. And while you can’t blame an athlete for wanting more pay, does anyone feel White has a point in telling Ferguson to honor his current deal?
Or does Tony have a point in wanting the same renegotiation opportunities offered to the likes of Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman and even Chad Mendes, who upped his salary to half a million for his last-minute fight against Conor McGregor?