Ferguson not paid $250K show money for UFC 209
March 8, 2017
In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour this past Monday, Tony Ferguson sounded dejected and indicated that he had yet to receive his show money of $250,000 as disclosed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It appears he’s still waiting for it.
MMA Junkie reports that Ferguson received less than half his contracted UFC 209 show money.
Ferguson was to face Khabib Nurmogomenov in a battle for the interim lightweight title. However, Khabib faced issues with the weight cut and pulled out of the fight on the Friday before the fight.
Ferguson still weighed in and made weight for the fight. So, he did everything right.
Word got out that Michael Johnson was offered up to Ferguson but he would not be paid as much as his bout agreement with Khabib. It made sense to pass from a business perspective as there was more to lose than to gain.
The latest now is that Ferguson received “less than half” the disclosed $250,000 show purse. Ferguson noted that he spent more on training expenses due to the magnitude of the fight. He now is upset with the company. A UFC official told MMA Junkie that Ferguson was aware of what he would be paid after the bout was canceled. Thus, the pay should have been known to Ferguson.
This is one of the horrible parts of the business side of fighting. The UFC valued Ferguson based upon the interim title fight with Khabib and thus his pay was increased to reflect this. Once the fight was off, the pay decreased. Unfortunately, this means that there was nothing in the contract which made assurances or guarantees to Ferguson that he would be paid show money if the fight did not take place. It would seem that making weight would be contractual and there would be repercussions or alternatives is a fighter does not make weight. Yet, looking at boxing and a standard boxing bout agreement between Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin (a fight that did not take place due to issues related to drug testing), there are no clauses related to whether or not a fighter does not make the required weight.
This is bad PR for the UFC as the least it could do was to compensate Ferguson for holding up his end of the fight. Yet, it appears that there’s nothing illegal about the UFC’s pay to Ferguson.