Though a much-desired Lightweight showdown between former interim title holders Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson has been discussed, nothing has been made official at this time. The two were rumored to throw down as the co-main event for UFC 254 on Oct. 24, 2020, which features a 155-pound title unification bout between division king, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and interim champ Justin Gaethje.
So what seems to be the hold up? According to Poirier, it’s all about the Benjamins. Indeed, “The Diamond” recently told ESPN that if the promotion wants this fight to happen, it needs to open up the checkbook and write down a big number.
“I’m in. I just need to be compensated if they want this fight. Simple as that,” Poirier said. “I’m a prize fighter and the prize needs to be right.”
Fighter pay has always been a hot topic in mixed martial arts (MMA), particularly under the UFC banner. More recently, though, it seems several top stars have been speaking out in hopes of securing bigger paydays. And while Poirier isn’t going as far as threatening to sit out like Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal did, he just wants to be compensated a bit more to take on one of the most dangerous 155-pound fighters in the game today.
Poirier’s request will force UFC to make a decision, and fast, since the promotion obviously planned on having him and Ferguson tangling on “Fight Island” for back up purposes, as well. Ferguson would likely be the one to get the title fight against Khabib should Gaethje bow out, while the report states that Poirier would get the call against Gaethje should “The Eagle” pull out.
And it’s a no-brainer, really, since Khabib vs. Ferguson has been on fight fan’s wish list for years and, well, you know the rest. Furthermore, Gaethje just dominated Ferguson at UFC 249, so booking that bout doesn’t make sense. And since Poirier has a win over Gaethje, booking that rematch for the interim strap sells itself.
It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved, as long as UFC makes the price
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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