Targeted to possibly take co-headlining honours at UFC 254 on October 24th. – a mouth-watering lightweight matchup between former interim titleholders, Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson, and Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier won’t feature on the ‘Fight Island’ showcase.
UFC president, Dana White fuelled initial rumblings of a matchup of the two, replying “probably“ when asked if Ferguson may make his second Octagon appearance of the year opposite the Louisianan boxing ace at a recent press event.
Plans for a high-stakes pairing of Ferguson and Poirier were certainly concrete – with the promotion ultimately failing to come to terms on a deal for the latter to meet with the Californian late next month. Speaking with ESPN MMA reporter, Ariel Helwani tonight, Poirier confirmed his targeted pairing with Ferguson was put on the backburner. “UFC and I did not come to terms. I will not be fighting on October 24th.“
Expected to take co-main event status beneath a lightweight title unification matching of Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov and Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje, the two may have also prominently featured if the headliner took a hit. Ferguson was highlighted as a possible replacement for Gaethje, while Poirier would rematch Gaethje if Khabib was unable to feature in October.
Returning to the Octagon and winning ways in June – Poirier rebounded from his submission defeat to the aforenoted, Khabib – to take a unanimous judging win over Kiwi finisher, Dan Hooker in an instant lightweight classic.
Dropping his first defeat in a staggering twelve fights, veteran all-rounder Ferguson met the above mentioned, Gaethje on short-notice at UFC 249 in May – suffering a rather one-sided fifth-round knockout after absorbing massive amounts of punishment.
Former interim best, Poirier had recently made his way from his home in Lafayette, Lousiana to American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida in preparation for a potential pairing with Ferguson, but with these latest developments, the 31-year-old is set to return to home soil.