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Nobody actually thinks Dustin Poirier doesn't want to fight Tony Ferguson. Right?

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We’ve heard this one so often over the years from one person that, by this point, as soon as you hear it, the words board the express train in one ear and zip right out the other: “Fighter A doesn’t want to fight Fighter B.”

Now, if you’ve followed mixed martial arts longer than a day, I didn’t even have to tell you that the person making this statement is UFC president Dana White. And that he’s referring to a fight fans really want to see. And he’s implying the fight hasn’t been made because a professional fighter who has made it to the elite level has suddenly decided, “Nah, I don’t feel like doing the one thing that has fueled my existence my entire adult life right at one of my biggest moments.”

What White almost always means: This fighter has the audacity to ask for a pay raise in my $7 billion company during a time ESPN guarantees an enormous sum of money for each pay-per-view event, so all we have to do is show up and let it rain money.

And usually we shrug or laugh or say it’s just “Dana being Dana,” acknowledge the fact there’s a segment of the audience who claim to be the freest of free thinkers but also mindlessly parrot all of White’s proclamations, then forget about it and go about our days.

Still, the latest episode of the long-running series “Dana White: This Guy Isn’t Lookin’ For a Fight!” dropped Tuesday night, and this time he might have finally taken it too far when he used this line on Dustin Poirier.

White implied Poirier doesn’t want to fight Tony Ferguson, a bout that was expected to take place at UFC 254 as a co-main event to Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje.

“Listen, I like Dustin,” White told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at the DWCS 33 post-fight news conference. “I’m not going to sit up here and say anything negative about Dustin. He’s a great kid. I don’t know if it was he didn’t want to fight in Abu Dhabi or what his deal was – he didn’t want to fight.

“Listen, there’s a lot of different ways to turn down a fight. Negotiating yourself out of one is one of the ways you can do it. So for whatever reason, he didn’t want to take this fight. Only he knows that.”

At least White had the good sense not to trash Poirier – one of the most genuine, all-around decent human beings in a sport without nearly enough of them – on a personal level.

But seriously: Dustin Poirier doesn’t want to fight? The guy who went toe to toe with Justin Gaethje and didn’t flinch at the idea of fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov in the Middle East? That Dustin Poirier? The guy with eight “Fight of the Night” bonuses and arguably two “Fights of the Year” (Chan Sung-Jung in 2012 and Gaethje in 2018)? The guy who shook off the disappointment of his loss to Khabib and responded with another “Fight of the Year” candidate in his June 27 win over Dan Hooker?

He’s done all that, but a fight with Tony Ferguson is where he all of a sudden gave too high a dollar figure because he doesn’t really want to fight.

That Dustin Poirier?

I’m not going to pretend that Poirier is in Conor McGregor’s class as a money draw. But the fact that Poirier is going to give fans every last dime of their money’s worth every time he steps into the cage is one of the few absolute guarantees in this business, and he’s only got so many of those fights left in him. Should White break the bank to make this fight? No. Has Poirier earned a considerable bump in pay? Absolutely; he’s on a $150,000/$150,000 deal. He’s literally earned a raise in blood.

Of course, just like there are morons who believed Donald Trump when he said America’s 15 coronavirus cases would soon be near zero (we are currently nearing 200,000 deaths in the pandemic), there are those who will believe Trump’s pal White, too. Behold this piece of breathtaking stupidity from our comments under the story linked above:

Image-from-iOS.jpg

This would seem depressing. But then you notice the thumbs-down votes are outpacing the mouth breathers by a nearly 10-to-1 margin, and you realize this time, by and large, people aren’t buying the idea White’s trying to sell. 

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

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