Dustin Poirier has explained why a rumoured fight with Tony Ferguson is not yet official. ‘The Diamond’ is holding out for more money to face off against Ferguson in one of the biggest fights 2020 has to offer.

‘El Cucuy’ has apparently verbally agreed to a deal for the fight. He is ready and willing to sign a contract but Poirier is still negotiating with the UFC ahead of the bout which is targeted for UFC 254 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi next month.

In an interview with ESPN Poirier opened up about the ongoing fight negotiations and his desire to be properly compensated for such a significant fight.

“I’m in. I just need to be compensated if they want this fight. Simple as that.” Poirier said. “I’m a prize fighter and the prize needs to be right.”

Speaking to press post-fight at UFC Vegas 7 White revealed Ferguson has a fight lined up and answered “probably” when a reporter speculated the opponent for Ferguson’s return would be Poirier.

A few days later and White was chatting to media when the topic of Ferguson vs. Poirier came up once again. This time White was asked if the fight would take place at UFC 254, he replied again by saying “probably”.

Since then there has been no public discussions or announcements about the fight. Some fans are growing concerned that a deal may not come to fruition with just over a month until the night of the event.

If they do make the match-up it will be Ferguson’s first since suffering a lopsided loss to Gaethje at UFC 249 in May. The loss was Ferguson’s first defeat since 2012 and snapped the longest winning streak in UFC lightweight history.

Before losing to Gaethje Ferguson was in line to face lightweight champion Khahbib Nurmagomedov before the coronavirus pandemic derailed the match-up MMA fans have long craved. ‘El Cucuy’ holds high-profile wins over the likes of Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, Kevin Lee, Edson Barboza and Rafael Dos Anjos.

His potential opponent, Poirier has some big wins of his own. ‘The Diamond’ has beat Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, Max Holloway x2 and most recently picked up a huge win over fellow contender Dan Hooker. The two lightweight fighters went back-and-forth for five rounds earlier this year with Poirier picking up the unanimous decision win on the judges scorecards.

Do you think the UFC will be able to book Dustin Poirier vs. Tony Ferguson for UFC 254?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.