Contract Squabbles Threaten To Derail Interim Lightweight Title FightPublished on December 29th, 2016 6:27 pm EST
Earlier this week, rumors surfaced that an interim Lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was set to take place at UFC 209.
Nurmagomedov, who has been angling for the fight for a while, immediately denied the rumors, stating that Ferguson had yet to agree to the fight.
In his pre-UFC 207 media scrum, UFC President Dana White shed some light on the situation.
According to White, Ferguson and his team have agreed to the fight, but only for the same money as Khabib Nurmagomedov is getting. Ferguson has made cryptic references to the situation via his Twitter account, though White was the one to actually spill the beans and tell the world what is going on.
White, in addressing Ferguson's demands, said that the UFC wasn't going to give Ferguson more money for the fight. White said that Ferguson had a deal with the UFC and that he would be expected to honor that deal.
White then went off on a rant about fighter contracts and the recent trend of fighters wanting to renegotiate in the middle of their deals. Dana White admitted that the sale of the UFC to WME-IMG for over $4 billion certainly hadn't helped the situation, as more fighters are clamoring for more money.
According to Jose Aldo, Khabib Nurmagomedov was offered a fight at Lightweight against the current Featherweight champion, though he turned it down because he wants to fight Ferguson instead.
All three men - Nurmagomedov, Aldo and Ferguson - desperately want a shot at the current Lightweight champion, Conor McGregor. McGregor is currently taking some time off to welcome the birth of his first child, and the UFC will have to determine who will be in line to get the shot at the champion.
Should Ferguson stick to his guns on his contract demands for his fight against Nurmagomedov, or should he focus on beating Nurmagomedov in order to earn a possibly much more lucrative payday against Conor McGregor?
This is an interesting situation, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
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