Over the weekend, UFC President Dana White confirmed that the rumored fight between Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson at UFC 254 would not be taking place. The fight was seen by many as both a title eliminator bout and as a backup option should someone fall out of the main event lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje; however, a dispute over Poirier’s compensation and instead of attempting to salvage it, the UFC would be moving on to other options. Now, one of those options may have been revealed.
Speaking with Submission Radio recently, City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman suggested that his charge, fifth-ranked lightweight Dan Hooker would be interested in facing Ferguson if they can make the timeline work.
“October is a bit early for us, otherwise we would jump in there straight away for sure,” Bareman said. “But if they can push it back. Dan just got off concussion protocol now, so of this week. So, he’s only just started back training. So, obviously October might be a hard push.”
A fight between Ferguson and Hooker would make sense for the UFC in this situation as both men are coming off Fight of the Year contenders that saw each of them come out on the losing end. Unfortunately for Hooker, Ferguson still seems to have his heart set on facing Poirier.
On Monday, Ferguson took to social media to urge Dana White and the UFC to pay the inaugural recipient of the Forrest Griffin Community Award and make the fight happen. Poirier went on to echo Ferguson’s sentiments and now the fight is in an odd state of limbo, with both fighters seemingly wanting it and the next logical replacement to step in for Poirier not lining up well with the UFC’s preferred timeline. However, just because Bareman says October might be too soon doesn’t mean Hooker agrees. In fact, the City Kickboxing head coach says Hooker would be up to step in against Ferguson at UFC 254.
“He would do it,” Bareman said of Hooker. “I would have to talk him out of it, but he would probably do it one hundred percent. But Dan’s just back now, he’s getting fit again, it’s good to have him back in the gym. So, yeah, if they can’t come to terms, and it sounds like they haven’t come to terms, then we’ll jump in there and fight Tony for sure.”
Ferguson is coming off only the second loss of his UFC career, meanwhile Hooker is coming off his second loss since moving up to lightweight. Ferguson and Hooker are ranked third and fifth respectively in the lightweight division.
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Mad respect for Tony.
“Here’s Lookin’ At You Kid” Pay the man @danawhite @ufc Love ya’ll but let’s give the Hardcore & Casual fans what they deserve, a good fight Sir ⚔️ -CSO- @DustinPoirier #ufc254 pic.twitter.com/uVwwZIUtSd— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) September 14, 2020
Violence!!!⚔⚔⚔ let's go Tony!!! https://t.co/kOmI3ntXEC— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 14, 2020
Tony's the type of guy who would manage his opponent and get him a new contract for the fight to happen.— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 14, 2020
This is the organization set up by the guy the UFC doesn’t want to pay.
All hands on deck Grateful for everyone who went out Sunday to help clear out debris from Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles & serve hot meals! Huge thanks to all of our donors for the continued support. We were able to donate several chainsaws, rakes & fuel to assist with clean up pic.twitter.com/cNF5uLOqV9— The Good Fight Foundation (@TheGoodFightFDN) September 14, 2020
Ready to scrap.
FIGHT ME. PLEASEEEEEEE.— Kayla Harrison (@KaylaH) September 14, 2020
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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