UFC President Dana White claims Dustin Poirier “didn’t want” to accept a widely rumored fight with Tony Ferguson.
Poirier, however, begs to differ.
For many weeks, Poirier and Ferguson were linked to a fight at UFC 254 on October 24. Regrettably, the matchup fell through when Poirier and the UFC couldn’t agree on the size of his prize.
“The UFC and I didn’t come to terms,” Poirier told ESPN. “I will not be fighting on October 24.
“I just need to be compensated if they want this fight. Simple as that.” Poirier added. “I’m a prizefighter and the prize needs to be right.”
While Poirier admitted that he was still open to accepting this fight at a later date, White subsequently announced that he was working on “another fight” for Ferguson.
Speaking at the conclusion of Contender Series on Tuesday, Dana White elaborated on the Poirier situation, claiming that by negotiating himself out of the fight, the top-5 lightweight proved he didn’t actually want the fight.
“Listen, I like Dustin,” White said of Poirier (via MMA Junkie). “I’m not going to sit up here and say anything negative about Dustin, he’s a great kid. I don’t know if it was he didn’t want to fight in Abu Dhabi or what his deal was – he didn’t want to fight.
“Listen, there’s a lot of different ways to turn down a fight. Negotiating yourself out of one is one of the ways you can do it. So for whatever reason, he didn’t want to take this fight. Only he knows that.”
Poirier was quick to respond to this claim from the UFC boss, refuting it wholeheartedly.
“I do want that fight,” Poirier told MMA Junkie via text message. “Simple and plain, I want to fight Tony. I like the matchup.”
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