Tony Ferguson was all set to battle Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC Interim Lightweight Title at UFC 209.
Nurmagomedov pulled out of the fight the day before the event due to issues with his weight cut. Ferguson isn’t too happy at the moment either, and it has to do with the pay he received for the canceled fight.
“It was like a slap to the face,” Ferguson said to MMA Junkie. “My training expenses were a lot larger than any other fight I’ve ever done because this was supposed to be the biggest fight of my career. So now I’m sitting here, and it’s like, what is my worth to the UFC? Like, do I not fight enough? Do I not bleed enough for them? It’s going through my head right now, because I didn’t lose. 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?'”
The UFC rankings still list Nurmagomedov at #1 and Ferguson at #2. Pay issues aside, the man who was ready to compete at UFC 209 believes the promotion needs to take better care of the fighters.
“I think they should take care of their fighters a little bit more, the ones that really put in their time and effort and really grind for them, because I’m one of those dudes, man,” Ferguson said. “I’m one of those grinders, and I’ve never bashed my company.”
UFC Fight Night 98 was the last event Ferguson competed at and he defeated former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos in the main event of that show.