Gilbert Burns feels Jorge Masvidal is employing the wrong strategy as he seeks to improve the pay he receives from the UFC.
Masvidal was expected to receive a shot at UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, but was ultimately sidelined after he entered into a heated contract dispute with the UFC. The fan favorite welterweight made no secret of his gripes about his pay, frequently lashing out at the UFC on social media, and even asked the promotion to release him if they’re not willing to pay him more.
Burns feels that was the wrong strategy. The Brazilian, who leapfrogged Masvidal to get the next crack at Usman, points to the careers of fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier and Georges St-Pierre, all of whom have become quite wealthy without publicly squabbling with the UFC.
“I don’t think that helped,” Burns told MMA Fighting about Masvidal’s pay grips “I don’t think that’s helping Masvidal’s side. I think my case is a strong case. He was fighter of the year in 2019. I’m already two fights [in this year], two great performances, I believe I earned the title shot, but I understand those guys want more money and everything. I think there’s a better way to get those deals done than just complain.
“Like we saw a couple guys, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] never complained about money. D.C. [Daniel Cormier] never complained about money. [Georges St-Pierre], a lot of guys, I know these guys make a great amount of money, and they don’t need to go against the UFC, throw everything in the media. I just think there’s a better way than going on social media [and saying], ‘Oh let me go, give me more money or let me go.’ I think you’ve got a better way to do business than this way.”
While Burns makes an interesting point, it’s worth noting that Nurmagomedov has at the very least driven a hard bargain with the UFC in the past. St-Pierre has also had numerous disputes with the promotion over the years—even if they didn’t occur on Twitter and YouTube, where Masvidal has aired his grievances.
Burns is set to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title in them main event of UFC 251, which is scheduled for July 11 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
What do you think of these comments from Gilbert Burns? Could Jorge Masvidal have chosen a better way to get what he wants from the UFC?