UFC president Dana White want to make Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov for the interim title. Ferguson wants to make the same pay as does ‘The Eagle’, but White wants him to honor his contract.
Nurmagomedov offered a novel suggestion.
However, during a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour Ferguson rejected the offer, while arguing that the UFC should amend his contract. Further, Ferguson sought fan support.
“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.”
“You’ve got Khabib f***ing offering $200,000 to fight me. I’m not going to take his money because we work for the same kind of thing. 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*** is up.”
“Ask them why they’re not paying me, and maybe we’ll get some answers. I haven’t had the opportunities that they have [provided Nurmagomedov], as far as, over the past five fights, I’ve only been on one pay-per-view. All the rest have been on FOX Sports 1 cards, which limits my mainstream exposure. Khabib has been on three pay-per-views and two UFC on FOXs, which draws much larger audiences than FOX Sports 1 cards.
“Despite this, there’s nothing that suggests that Khabib draws any larger than me. I haven’t been given the same opportunities or the same push as Khabib. I don’t belong to AKA or a big major sport’s program. I choose to do different things on my own and I’m building my own legacy, my own facilities, but that’s later on. That’s a completely different subject. So, as far as compensation goes, like I said, the UFC has been known to change it over their history, and I’m just looking for them to get this thing going, man. Let’s go. Let’s go, UFC.”
“Everybody wants the fight. I’m ready to go, man. You know I’m ready to go. Everybody wants to see this fight. Everybody wants to see these fireworks. They want to see that explosiveness. They want to see me throw Khabib on his back and get that five-point motion with this USA wrestling. Because if wrestling was easy, it would be called Sambo, my friend. Straight up, I’m going mop that dude up. I’m going to use his hat for a mop.
“But for right now, I’m enjoying my time. The fans, you guys need to get anxious, man. Let’s get some chatter going. Let’s get the UFC involved with this. If you’ve got Khabib willing to sacrifice his life and give me $200,000 of his own money, something’s wrong with that s***. I’m not going to take that guy’s money. He’s got a family too. So do I, and he’s got bills to pay. So I’m not going after Khabib’s. All I want is my stuff right and to be compensated for what my numbers prove to be, so let’s go kids.
“Let’s take a chance on a kid, you know? Two fighters that deserve a chance. Let’s do this.”