Following his tirade against the UFC’s practises, and promotional president, Dana White earlier this week during his media availability, former interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson called for the promotion to implement health insurance for the fighters on the organization’s roster – with those requests echoed by fellow former interim lightweight titleholder, Justin Gaethje.
Tonight’s press conference in the ‘Copper State’ ahead of this weekend’s UFC 274 card at the Footprint Center was manned by UFC play-by-play commentary leader, Jon Anik, who explained how the aforenoted, White would be present in Phoenix, Arizona later in the week.
Fielding questions from assembled media at the press event, defending lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira – who headlines the card against Gaethje, questioned if critics of his had actually consumed his recent rallying wins against both Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler – as he continues to receive questions about his heart and will to traverse adversity.
With attention switched to main card features, Tony Ferguson, and the aforenoted, Chandler, the two shared a joke regarding reigning welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman’s attempt to emulate Ferguson for his former Sanford MMA teammate, Chandler – with both jokingly agreeing that the Auchi native left a lot to be desired with his imanari roll setups.
Speaking of both Gaethje and defending undisputed best, Oliveira, Tony Ferguson – who attempts to snap a three-fight losing skid against Chandler, insisted that future re-runs with the challenger and champion most definitely interest him in the future.
When asked if he would echo prior calls for an increase in post-fight bonus amounts akin to his calls ahead of UFC 262 last May, Tony Ferguson, instead explained how he would rather the UFC implemented a health insurance policy for fighters, explaining how he needed to think of the long term financial stability of his family.
“I’d say, let’s get some insurance for these fighters,” Tony Ferguson said during the UFC 274 press conference. “Let’s raise the tier up. You know what I mean – when they (the UFC) did the Reebok deal, they had tiers, so how many fights you had inside the Octagon, I say we do the same thing, man. We all have families, we all have to support our systems – let’s do that sh*t, man. I don’t know, Dana’s (White) not here but – insurance.”
Momentarily, Gaethje insisted that he liked the idea of another increase to the fighter bonus system for UFC 274, before taking sides with Ferguson and calling for the introduction of health insurance.
“I want bigger bonuses, bigger bonuses,” Justin Gaethje interjected. “And health insurance – but bigger bonuses.”
Replying to the Arizona fan-favorite, Ferguson said, “I’m a grown-ass man, I’ve got to look after my family, so insurance is cool for me.”
Tony Ferguson compared Dana White and UFC officials to “drug dealers” earlier this week
Challenging for strawweight spoils in Saturday’s co-headliner, Carla Esparza – who attempts to land a second career win over now-champion, Rose Namajunas, claimed that she would defeat the 2014 version of herself, who had just landed the inaugural UFC strawweight crown – adding to prior Invicta FC success.
Earlier this week, former interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier claimed that he would probably face the victor of the high-profile main card clash between Chandler and Ferguson next, however, when drawn for an answer on his interest in fighting the Louisianan next, Chandler remained coy on the matchup, averting his full attention to this weekend’s bout with Ferguson instead.