One of the best lightweights in the world is not very happy with the UFC. That lightweight would be former interim champion Tony Ferguson. El Cucuy hasn’t fought since May when he lost an interim title fight to Justin Gaethje.
Ferguson was originally supposed to face UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, that night, but due to travel restrictions, the fight was cancelled. Ferguson took the fight against Gaethje and was stopped in the fifth round.
Since then, we have not seen Ferguson in action. However, the UFC has tried to make fights for Ferguson. The promotion was trying to book Ferguson opposite Dustin Poirier as the co-main event for this weekend’s UFC 254 card.
However, due to financial negotiations, the fight never came to fruition. Following that, the UFC offered Ferguson a fight against Michael Chandler, however, Ferguson was not interested in fighting Chandler because he viewed it as a step back.
Now, Ferguson appears to be the odd man out at lightweight. The UFC seems to be closing in on booking the rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Ferguson’s logical opponent is Michael Chandler, but again, Ferguson doesn’t want that fight. He’s becoming increasingly frustrated with the promotion.
El Cucuy vs the UFC
“Chandler? Think about this: How many times are you going to put another f–king person in the f–king shuffle of cards? Dana keeps shuffling me down the list. What? Because I’m f–king Mexican? What’d I do to you? Why do you treat me like s–t,” Ferguson told MMA Junkie.
Ferguson went onto talk about how he feels that the UFC should pay him more given his history with the promotion. Ferguson has been with the UFC since 2011 when he won the Ultimate Fighter. He’s been one of the best lightweights in the world since that time.
Despite losing in his last fight at UFC 249, Ferguson wants his money to be raised for his next fight. If he doesn’t see the numbers climb, it appears that he’s willing to sit out. We’ve seen this several times this year with Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal.
However, it’s very rare that these kind of situations ever favor the fighter. The UFC is booming right now and if Ferguson doesn’t want to fight, White and the UFC won’t cave. They could find another fight for Michael Chandler like Dan Hooker.
At the end of the day, I think it’s best for all parties for this situation to be resolved. There has to be a middle ground somewhere that will make both sides happy. I think all fans would be happy to see Ferguson fighting again sooner rather than later.