Jorge Masvidal says Gilbert Burns is getting the lowest possible amount of money for his upcoming welterweight title fight with champion Kamaru Usman.
Masvidal was widely expected to be the next man in line for a shot at Usman, but ultimately entered into a heated contract dispute with the UFC. When negotiations stalled, Burns was awarded the next shot at Usman.
Speaking on his official YouTube channel, Masvidal explained how Burns ended up getting a title fight before him. He claims that Burns was not even the UFC’s plan B, and that the Brazilian accepted a very small payday for the fight.
“They offered me considerably less money than what I should be getting, and it didn’t work” Masvidal said of the stalled negotiations for his fight with Usman. “Then they offer [Burns] the least amount of money that they would take. That’s what they did. They offered me, then when I said no, they offered a couple of other people until they got to Gilbert. Gilbert wasn’t their first thing. Nobody on a worldwide scale knows him. I’m not dissing his skillset, but he’s not a known guy, so of course he took the lowest money possible to fight a title.
“He can do whatever he wants with his time and his skillset,” Masvidal added. “So can I. I want to get paid. I don’t have nothing negative or positive to say about the fight that’s coming up. I’m just worried about me.”
Jorge Masvidal asserted himself as the next man in line for a welterweight title shot with an absolutely incredible run in 2019. He began the year by knocking out Darren Till, followed up with a record-breaking, five-second flying knee knockout of the formerly unbeaten Ben Askren, and capped off the year by defeating Nate Diaz in the first and only “BMF” title fight.
Gilbert Burns, meanwhile, earned his welterweight title shot by going 4-0 in the division after a long run at lightweight. Since moving to welterweight, Burns has defeated Alexey Kunchenko, Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia, and most recently, the former champion Tyron Woodley, who he walloped to a clear-cut unanimous decision win.
Burns will get his crack at Usman at UFC 251 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on July 11. It’s unclear where Jorge Masvidal will fit into the welterweight title picture once that fight has concluded.