Dustin Poirier-Tony Ferguson UFC 254 Matchup Negotiations Fail

By Tudor Leonte Sep 14, 2020

It seemed like the matchup fans—and the fighters—wanted, but for now at least, they will have to wait.

A rumored bout between Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) and Tony Ferguson (25-4) for UFC 254 next month had fans buzzing, as the two lightweight contenders discussed the possibility on social media. Even though the Ultimate Fighting Championship never officially announced the matchup, the organization was said to be actively negotiating with both fighters.

On Thursday, it was reported that the matchup was in doubt, due primarily to Poirier’s financial requests. At the press conference after Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 177, UFC President Dana White confirmed that the bout was off and that the promotion was looking for another opponent for "El Cucuy."

"No, we're not even trying to salvage it," White said. "We're getting another fight [for Ferguson]."

In his latest Octagon appearance at UFC 249 in May, Ferguson suffered his first loss in eight years at the hands of Justin Gaethje. Before that defeat, Ferguson had been on a 12-fight winning streak with significant victories over Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone and former divisional champions Rafael dos Anjos and Anthony Pettis. Former interim champion Poirier fought most recently in June, upending Dan Hooker in a back-and-forth battle that earned them a "Fight of the Night" bonus.

UFC 254 takes place on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, on Oct. 24 and is scheduled to be headlined by a lightweight title unification bout between undefeated champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim titleholder Justin Gaethje. The card will also feature a heavyweight battle between Alexander Volkov and Walt Harris and a middleweight scrap between former champion Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier.
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