Less than a day away from UFC 209, the promotion was forced to lose their co-main event of the highly-anticipated fight card due to weight management medical issues with Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Russian mixed martial artist was transported to Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center Thursday evening, officials confirmed.
Following the fight cancellation via the doctor’s recommendation, the UFC offered Tony Ferguson a rematch with Michael Johnson, but “El Cucuy” declined the offer for various reasons. Apparently, one of the main reasons is that the UFC offered him less money to fight a replacement opponent, which didn’t sit too well with the No.1 lightweight contender.
In an interview with Megan Olivi Ferguson said,
They wanted to cut my pay. They didn’t want to offer me a title shot. They didn’t want me to do anything along those lines. I understand it’s a business. But I’m a man, I have a family to support and [I understand] the business, but the time and effort that I put into this — especially Khabib — it just kind of sucks. It’s just a really, really crappy thing to go through.
At the moment, Ferguson will only collect his show money for UFC 209 and wishes no ill will towards Nurmagomedov.
I can’t even say how I felt, it’s still kind of a hard pill to swallow. I prepared really hard for this fight and I know he did, too. It sucks, man. I know he’s a true warrior. He’s gonna bounce back.
UFC 209: Woodley vs. Thompson 2 takes place tonight at 10:00PM ET live on pay-per-view. Stay tuned tofor further UFC 209 coverage.