Contract negotiations for Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov seems to have gone on just as long as 2016 itself. A combination of Ferguson's rise to the top of UFC's challenger tower and the immense price tag the organization sold for has resulted in a revaluation of self-worth. Look no further than Conor McGregor — calling his own shots and making more money than any other fighter on the roster.
At the fever pitch of trying to get the fight, Nurmagomedov offered Ferguson $200K of his own money in order make the biggest fight in the lightweight division finally go down. Ferguson declined the offer on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, but for a good reason:
While some fans are greasing up their fingers to type about #TonyFerguson ducking right now, it's hard not to acknowledge his reasoning. Why do fighters feel the need to pay out of their pocket to make a fight happen because of the UFC's amount of compensation? Of course, Ferguson did sign a contract, but contracts are broke and amended all of the time for certain scenarios.
The Russian sambo Machine has had such a horrible time trying to find opponents, at the end of the interview he offered Helwani the same amount of money to cut to lightweight so that he could have a fight. Book, it UFC.