Despite reports that he might be facing Tony Ferguson next month at UFC 254, Dustin Poirier announced on Thursday that the bout will not be taking place.
According to ESPN‘s Ariel Helwani, Poirier didn’t go into much detail, simply remarking that he and UFC “didn’t come to terms” and that he “will not be fighting” at the upcoming event, which will be held on October 24 in Abu Dhabi.
Poirier’s latest comments came after he traveled from his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, to South Florida to start training for the potential showdown with Ferguson. On Wednesday, he told ESPN that he would take the fight only if he gets compensated properly. However, on Thursday, he informed the outlet that he would be returning home and that he wasn’t sure whether or not the fight would be rescheduled for another date.
In a separate report, MMA Fighting cited people familiar with the situation, who said that the negotiations between Poirier and UFC broke down on Thursday due to the aforementioned financial issues. The 31-year-old reportedly wanted more money before agreeing to the terms.
Citing his own sources, Helwani wrote that Ferguson had verbally agreed to meet Poirier in the octagon but had not yet signed. He added that UFC president Dana White had been teasing the possibility of Poirier vs. Ferguson as early as last month, suggesting that the company was “probably” going to schedule it as its next big fight.
Had the contest pushed forward at UFC 254, it would have been scheduled as the co-main event to the lightweight championship unification bout between reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim titleholder Justin Gaethje. However, Helwani noted that there were some interesting conditions that came with the card. Reportedly, Ferguson was supposed to replace Gaethje should he withdraw, while Poirier would have stepped in as a substitute for Nurmagomedov in the event of the undefeated Russian fighter’s unavailability.
“The stipulation made sense considering Nurmagomedov-Ferguson is a fight the UFC has tried to book five times before to no avail, and Poirier has a win over Gaethje,” he explained.
Currently, Poirier has a 26-6 record with one no-contest and is fresh off a victory over Dan Hooker in June. He’s lost just one fight out of his last six, and that loss was to Nurmagomedov in 2019. Ferguson dropped to a 26-4 record after seeing his 12-bout winning streak broken when he lost to Gaethje via fifth-round TKO at UFC 249 in May.