Coach wants Dan Hooker in vs. Tony Ferguson but there’s buts

UFC president Dana White said recently that Dustin Poirier vs. Tony Ferguson will not be happening. It was expected to serve as the co-main for UFC 254, with the dual purpose of establishing a #1 contender, and back up if either of main event fighters fell out. Poirier would be in vs. Ferguson for the interim belt, if lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov fell, and Ferguson would be in vs. Nurmagomedov if Justin Gaethje did.

However, negotiations fell through with Poirier over compensation. During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, Dan Hooker’s head coach Eugene Bareman said “The Hangman” would step into the co-main vs. Ferguson.

“October is a bit early for us, otherwise we would jump in there straight away for sure. 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. He would do it. 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.” 

A look at the top of the rankings indicates that Hooker is the right choice:

Champion: Khabib Nurmangomedov
1 contender and interim champ: Justin Gaethje
2. Dustin Poirier
3. Tony Ferguson
4. Conor McGregor
5. Dan Hooker

McGregor is definitely out, and Ferguson and Poirier appear intent on still fighting each other.

And this is what the guy the UFC won’t pay enough to is up to.

UFC is apparently not going to pay Poirier what he wants, so where this all is right now is not clear.

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