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Tony Ferguson: Dana White is playing craps with my fight purse after shortchanging me at UFC 209

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Dos Anjos vs Ferguson Etzel Espinosa-USA TODAY Sports

Little “White” lie?

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was forced to cancel its UFC 209 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event last weekend (Sat., March 4, 2017), after top lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov was unable to make the official weigh-in event.

More on that mess here.

As a result, opponent Tony Ferguson — who was battling “The Eagle” for the interim lightweight strap — was left with two choices: hit the showers, or accept a Michael Johnson rematch for much less pay.

“El Cucuy” opted for the former without realizing he would suffer for it financially.

“It was like a slap to the face,” Ferguson told MMA Junkie. “I did everything in my power that I could to show up on that scale, and that’s what I thought we were going to do. That’s why you call it show money. And to every fan that’s out there in the world, (UFC President) Dana (White), he said they cut me out a check, and I didn’t get a check, and then this morning I got my wire, and I’m looking at it and I’m like, ‘What the frick, man?’ I’m like, ‘Seriously?'”

Assuming they make weight, fighters are typically awarded their “show” purse if they are unable to compete through no fault of their own (like this, for instance). Ferguson made weight, but his expected payout (see it) was much higher than a normal contest because of the interim title.

Something that was an original sticking point during contract negotiations.

“[White] said, ‘We budget for these fights.’ Those are his exact words,” Ferguson continued. “So then you had it, but you don’t want to fork it over. That’s like, all right … How am I supposed to like the company I work for if I’m short-changing me? He was telling me he was taking a loss from this, and I’ll bet you he’s somewhere out on his boat, or doing something on his jet, laying $250,000 down on a craps table.”

White gamble? Pfffft.

A UFC official speaking under the condition of anonymity refuted those claims and insists Ferguson was paid “six figures,” according to the report.

How much this turn of events affects future negotiations remains to be seen, though I can’t imagine there being any financial issues if this fight gets booked.

Stay tuned.

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