Tony Ferguson has vented his frustration at the UFC in a new interview with ESPN with regards to negotiations that saw fights with both Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler at UFC 254 fall through.
“I’m going to be real,” Ferguson said with regards to the Poirier fight. “I don’t know what their plans were before or after, but I was already ready. I was already counting on it. Seriously, I planned around it. I’m not much of a planner, so I was already going ahead of it, but then Dana wanted to speak for me. He wanted to go out there and be like, ‘Tony is going to take this fight.’ Like, bro, we’re not friends. I never said we were friends.
“It’s just business, right? I’m there when you need me, and then obviously when you don’t. Seriously, man. I’m a contractor. I do my thing. I love him and I love UFC and stuff like that, but I’m just a piece of meat out there. Do you know what I mean?”
Ultimately the Poirier fight collapsed due to ‘The Diamond’ walking away from negotiations due to being unhappy with the financial side of the deal, at which point Ferguson appears to have been offered an alternative bout with incoming Bellator champ Michael Chandler.
However, it seems that Ferguson was less than thrilled about the idea of fighting someone he felt hadn’t yet earned such a high-profile spot.
“The UFC kept delaying telling us the (Poirier) fight was confirmed. It was like, the minute they asked, I’m still training for Dustin, for the Chandler thing. Now, they’re bringing in a new dude, who I have no (expletive) clue who he is. I’m not trying to (expletive) on him from a marketing standpoint, but the dude has less than 100,000 (followers) on Twitter. You’re going to try to get him more notoriety by throwing him against me and throw him on the Khabib card. I get that, but don’t pay the (expletive) more than us. He has zero time in the UFC. I don’t know about ‘roids and all that stuff. I don’t get into that (expletive) with everybody.”
With that in mind, Ferguson made it clear he was willing to fight Chandler, but only if the UFC met his financial demands.
“I got to the point where I’m like, ‘You know what? I want to fight. Chandler, you want your welcome? You want to do this (expletive)? Yeah? Let’s put it on paper. UFC, let’s make the money right. Let’s make it interesting.’ I draw pay-per-view buys. They wanted value. I created value. Here I am.”
In the end Ferguson was unable to get the UFC to see eye-to-eye with him on the deal and so now he’s waiting to see who he will eventually be drawn up against next, but his ultimate goal still remains to win the lightweight title, regardless of who he has to face to get it.
“Everybody wants me to fight Khabib right? But I’ve got to earn my right back. OK, cool. Who’s it going to be? Dustin? Or is it going to be Chandler? I don’t give a (expletive). I said it was a tournament. Now we’re adding in people. Alright, cool. Here we go again. Today marks the celebration, right? Khabib and (Conor) McGregor. That (expletive) wouldn’t have happened unless they stripped my belt. So, (expletive) you. Pay me instead of this (expletive) clown.
“Like I said, Chandler, I have nothing against you – and Dustin, I have nothing against you. But I ain’t trying to help no one no more. Justin Gaethje, you’re (expletive) welcome you have a belt, son. I guarantee you I’m going to tell you to go get my belt because your ass is going to get (expletive) whipped. I’m coming for it. So both you and (expletive) fathead, this is a message for both of you knuckleheads. It’s my mat and my time.”