The entire MMA community – including UFC Brass – knows that Dustin Poirier wants Tony Ferguson to fight. To suggest otherwise is simply an injustice with Poirier, a veteran who has developed a reputation as a fighter coming down to fight anyone at any time. Poire has assured me on many occasions that he wants a fight. Heck, he left his family in Lufayette, Louisiana, to start a training camp for a fight that had not yet been booked. Does that sound like a man who doesn’t want to compete?
I want to fight https://t.co/fGrTT8QFbY
– The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 16, 2020
Ferguson, as he tweeted earlier this week, also wants a fight. He also urged the UFC to “pay the man”.
We did not see that kind of unity between two fighters at a UFC press conference in 2016, sitting next to Nathan Diaz at the time he was supposed to be for Connor McGregor. When Dana White stated that Diaz would fight someone else in the UFC 200, Diaz said he was not fighting anyone other than McGregor that summer.
Sources say that at the moment, the UFC is intent on moving beyond Ferguson-Pourier. The promotion really wants a top light fight on 24 October as a backup to the main event of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaithje. Looking at what happened just before UFC 251, when Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19 a week before his title fight against Komaru Osman. This forced the UFC to join and sign Jorge Masvidal in a big deal to save the incident.
One name that has been discussed is free agent Michael Chandler, the former Bellator lightweight champion, who signed his contract in early August. UFC Chandler is in advanced negotiations with sources, and is at the forefront of signing it, although a deal has not yet been finalized.
It is not clear whether Ferguson is interested in that fight. White said Tuesday night that Ferguson has not yet agreed to a new fight. According to sources, Ferguson’s first choice is the Pourier, but we know how those things go. What if the UFC sweetened the pot to Ferguson to fight Chandler next month?
The Chandler option is the only other fight that makes sense, in my opinion, to Ferguson. I don’t think it means much to anyone fighting a low-ranked guy like Dan Hooker or Paul Felder – as much as those fights would be. But considering Chandler is a former champion and given the former champion’s hint of another promotion with the UFC, there’s always a little extra excitement, I think fans will eventually get behind the fight.
Which is both positive and negative in this game. What’s fun about MMA is the last minute of it all. Stepping on short notice was incredibly exhilarating. I have no doubt that fans will get pumped if UFC can be Ferguson vs. Chandler.
But Poore are better characters. He has always been there when the UFC wanted him and he always gave. Witness the fact that five of his final eight fights were awarded Fight of the Night bonuses and, given his fighting style and his charitable work, he has turned into one of the game’s most loved fighters . Heck, just look at the support we got from fans last week who usually don’t ask for more money from a fighter. The vast majority on social media were supporting Poirier and urging the UFC to pay him. Pourier has earned such moments. It is annoying for her to see this.
Now, do we know what kind of money he is asking for? No. He wouldn’t tell me, and the UFC doesn’t comment on these things. We know that his reveal was $ 150,000 to show purse and that he was paid $ 150,000 to win when he defeated Hooker in June.
If he is, in fact, how much he made, I think he is more qualified to fight Ferguson – or someone else, for that matter. To be honest, I’m surprised that the UFC hasn’t been trying to figure out what kind of good soldier Pieri has been for promotion over the years and considering how great the Ferguson fight is on paper. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Ferguson vs Pourier? This is one of the few fights that were unanimously praised by the UFC for wanting to book the term.
But it is a game of fighting. One minute you ring the ball, the next minute you look outward as the promotion gets excited about its shiny, new acquisition.
At this point, where things stand, I think Chandler eventually signs with the UFC. He has talked to other promotions – such as PFL – but he always wants to fight for leading MMA promotions to prove that he is the best lightweight in the world. I got it.
But the question is whether his debut was against Ferguson or anyone else? Interestingly enough, it is ultimately up to Ferguson, who can continue to stand by the pourier or decide that being on the same card is a lightweight title fight good for his brand. I’m very curious to see how this plays out.