Until last week, surging welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal was involved in a heated contract dispute with the UFC.
When Gilbert Burns withdrew from his welterweight title fight with Kamaru Usman due to a positive COVID-19 test, Masvidal was offered the opportunity to step in. Miraculously, he and the UFC were able to squash their differences and negotiate a new UFC contract. It wasn’t quite what he had in mind, but he admits he’s satisfied for the moment.
“Me and my team know what I deserve,” Masvidal told ESPN after striking his new deal with the UFC. “So when I got undercut and lowballed, alright, cool, no problem. We’ll see what happens. I told my manager and several people […] ‘watch, at the last moment, they’re going to call me back and some craziness is going to happen.’ I told several people that are very, very close to me, and bam, that’s exactly what happened.
“Now, I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, but it’s very, very close,” Masvidal added. “I’m happy, more than anything, because I get to break this guy’s face, then get paid for it. But one thing that I’m not gonna do, which I’ve done through a long part of my career is get underpaid. That’s not going to happen no more. Not from here going forward.”
During a scrum with the media shortly after completing his grueling, short-notice weight cut for UFC 251, Masvidal was asked if he had any advice for young fighters who might find themselves in similar situations.
While he admitted a proper answer would require more time and thought than he was able to give at that particular moment, he did have some advice off the cuff.
“We’re gonna need a lot longer than five minutes for that answer, but I’ll give you a short one,” Masvidal said (via MMA Fighting). “Stick to your guns, don’t let none of these devils and demons hold you down. I’ve been here for a while, it’s taken me a while, but I don’t let no oppressor get the better of me. If they didn’t come to the numbers that I wanted [for the short-notice Usman fight], I would have been right in Miami, Florida, sitting on my couch, eating sushi, playing video games. They came correct and that’s why I’m here. That’s the only thing I can tell young fighters coming up, know your value.
“A lot of the young guys just don’t know their value,” Masvidal added. “It’s not their fault. I didn’t know my value when I was 19, 20 years old. Someone offered me $2,000, I’d kill a gorilla. It’s tough as these kids are coming up, but all I can tell them is know your value and stick to your guns.”
What do you think of this advice from Jorge Masvidal?