Dustin Poirier & UFC don’t come to terms, UFC 254 bout vs Tony Ferguson off.
The year 2020 has been one major, global party of misery. And that misery continued for MMA fans on Sept. 10, when it was announced that a planned lightweight contest between former interim champions Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier for UFC 254 would no longer be taking place.
Poirier confirmed the news to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, stating he would be returning home to Lafayette, LA.
“UFC and I didn’t come to terms,” Poirier said. “I will not be fighting on Oct. 24.”
Dustin Poirier vs. Tony Ferguson no longer in works for UFC 254
Poirier recently traveled to his home gym at American Top Team in Florida to prepare for the Ferguson bout, which would have taken place on Fight Island, in Abu Dhabi, next month and served as the co-main event to the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje lightweight title unification bout.
In addition to the bout, which had been teased by UFC President Dana White in press conferences, both fighters were rumored to be potential, late-notice replacement opponents had something happened to one of the main event competitors. According to ESPN, Poirier could have filled in for an injured Nurmgagomedov against Gaethje.
Comments made by Poirier to Helwani earlier in the week brought some fears that the end result we have now was going to come.
“I’m in,” Poirier had told ESPN on September 9. ‘I’m at American Top Team. I just need to be compensated if they want this fight. Simple as that. I’m a prize fighter and the prize needs to be right.”
Poirier scored a come-from-behind decision victory in a classic encounter against Dan Hooker earlier this year in the main event of UFC Vegas 4. It was Poirier’s first fight since coming up short in his own title shot against Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242.
Ferguson was finished by Gaethje in the fifth round of their interim title fight at UFC 249 in May, which snapped a 12-fight win streak Ferguson had been on.