Tony Ferguson is ranked #2 in the UFC Lightweight Division, the only fighter ahead of him -- Khabib Nurmagomedov. For one reason or another, the fight between these men just hasn’t come together, but now Nurmagomedov has stated he will offer Ferguson $200,000 to accept the fight, something Ferguson addressed on The MMA Hour.
“You’ve got Khabib f*cking offering (me) $200,000 to fight me. I’m not going to take his money because we work for the same kind of thing,” Ferguson said. “I would offer the same thing. But that’s not what I’m in here for, man. Honestly, we’re both two of the same kind of fighters because we fight for something different. The UFC has a chance to make the most money out of everyone right now. They’re looking at the hugest, biggest demographic in Russia. Well let us fight, man. I’m trying to build my demographic too. Let me work for you guys. Let me work for you guys the way that I have been working, but compensate me the way that I need to be compensated. The fight is us or Conor, man. And I know both of us are going to smash that fool. So the real fight is this fight, and we both know it. We’ve met each other. We’ve sized each other up. We know what the f*ck is up.”
Ferguson does acknowledge that he signed a new contract with the UFC a few months back, but he wants added financial compensation for a big fight with Nurmagomedov.
“I have a contract, but I’ve outperformed that contract,” Ferguson said. “The UFC has a long history of changing a fighter’s compensation for a particular bout. … There’s always changes that’s always being made as far as contracts. Take for instance, I got yelled at, screamed at by Dana. I got a phone call one morning. It was crazy. I was like, man, I used to like getting phone calls. But it’s kind of crazy, I got this phone call saying, ‘you wore jeans to the Reebok weigh-ins.’ And I was like, well, they were in the morning. I wasn’t trying to go against anything. They had no tags on them. And I was just trying to be cool, be like, ‘hey, I made weight with jeans on,’ and it wasn’t even the ceremonial weigh-ins. I’m not going to go and address other athletes that have performed this type of feat, but I got an earful on it.”
Ferguson hasn’t fought since UFC Fight Night 98, where he defeated former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos, while Nurmagomedov hasn’t fought since defeating Michael Johnson at UFC 205.