Donegal MMA star Joseph Duffy has rejected a fight on the upcoming UFC card in Belfast, and negotiations over a new contract have stalled sparking doubts over his future with the promotion.
The Burtonport fighter signed a five fight deal with the UFC in January 2015, and he has one fight left on that contract.
However, it is believed that Duffy is unhappy with the terms he has been offered on a new contract and negotiations have stalled.
Duffy was also offered a fight on the UFC card in Belfast on November 19th, but rejected the fight saying it would do nothing to further his career within the sport.
Duffy told The 42.ie, “Of course I’d be very disappointed to miss the Belfast card but I just feel that the fight I was offered didn’t make sense,” said Duffy, who was born in Donegal and is currently based at the Tristar camp in Montreal. “There was no real upside to the fight for me. With it being the last fight on my contract, I feel there’s no benefit for me in taking it.
“This is the fight game and at this level every fight I take has to mean something to me in more ways than one. I’m training hard and I feel great. I’ve never been more focused than I am right now so I guess it’s just a matter of waiting for the right fight for me.
“I want names that mean something and I’m ready to start my training camp as soon as that happens. If it’s Belfast then it’s Belfast, if not then so be it.”
There are now very real fears over his future with the UFC, with Duffy saying that the contract tabled to him has left him feeling undervalued by the promotion.
Duffy added, “In this game it’s all about the right fights at the right time. I’m still on my first contract so we’re not exactly making enough money to set ourselves up for life, and in this game one injury could end your career in an instant,” explained Duffy, who earned a disclosed $20,000 for his clash with Poirier, while his opponent picked up $84,000.
“I believe there are a lot of guys in the top 10 who I match up well against and obviously my competitive side wants all top 10 guys. But the reality is that I’m not getting paid top 10 salaries and that’s where we’re at right now.
“I’m not close at all [to signing a new deal]. I have been offered a new contract to sign but I don’t feel like I’m valued. The negotiation seems to be a case of take it or leave it.
“I’m not asking for a massive increase, just what I believe I’m worth as a professional mixed martial artist. It’s definitely looking like I will be testing free agency, but not by choice.”