To the surprise of many, Tony Ferguson went scorched earth on Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and President Dana White at Wednesday’s (May 4, 2022) UFC 274 media day. Speaking on the topic of fighter pay, he gained quick support from another vocal advocate for athletes getting what they deserve.
Ferguson will be returning this Sat. night (May 7) for the first time since his losing effort against Beneil Dariush at UFC 262 in May 2021. Asked about why he’s been gone for a year, Ferguson revealed he’d been trying to come back sooner but for other opportunities outside the UFC, which were rejected. He’d then equate White to a “drug dealer,” where if fighters couldn’t resist turning down certain offers, they’d “get f—ked.”
During his time involved with combat sports, YouTuber turned boxer, Jake Paul, has made it clear he wants to aid fighters and get them paid what they deserve. So when Ferguson spoke out, “The Problem Child” wasted no time sharing his thoughts.
“Don’t listen to me, listen to a UFC fighter, @tonyfergusonXT, who has the courage to speak up,” Paul tweeted. “Dana White is a billionaire while fighters are itching and clawing to make ends meet. ‘Dana White the drug dealer.’”
Feelings toward Paul from fans and fighters alike are justifiably divided as he’s been able to find early success as what many will always consider a “celebrity boxer.” However, there have been signs of the Ohio native doing his part by aiding former UFC Flyweight Sarah Alpar’s fight camp in her time of need as well as co-promoting the recent megafight between Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor (watch highlights).
Ferguson speaking out on the issue of fighter pay comes at an interesting time as UFC Heavyweight kingpin Francis Ngannou and all-time great, Jon Jones, have recently voiced their belief that they should be making north of $1 million at a minimum.
To see the rest of the UFC 274 fight card and PPV lineup click here.