After a highly publicized contract dispute with the UFC, Jorge Masvidal is set to challenge Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title at UFC 251 this Saturday.
Masvidal was originally expected to be the next man in line for Usman. When his contract dispute with the UFC began to boil, however, the promotion awarded the next crack at Usman to Burns. Burns then tested positive for COVID-19, at which point the UFC approached Masvidal about stepping in to fight Usman on short-notice.
The fight was made official late on Sunday night.
From the sounds of it, a deal was struck that was satisfactory for both parties.
“Me and my team know what I deserve,” Masvidal told ESPN this week, opening up on his new UFC deal. “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.
While Masvidal didn’t quite what he hoped for in his negotiations with the UFC, he seems to be satisfied for the moment. That being said, he says he’s willing to sit out again if the promotion attempts to pay him less than his perceived worth in the future.
“I’m happy, more than anything, because I get to break this guy’s face, then get paid for it,” Masvidal said. “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.
“After the [Darren] Till fight, me and my managers we sat down, we discussed the numbers where I wanted to be at, and we needed to hit those very quick,” Masvidal added. “We’re not there yet, but we’re headed in that direction. So moving forward after this fight, they’re going to treat me accordingly, or I’ll just step in, last-minute, six days’ ahead, and get paid then I guess. [I’ll do whatever] new scheme I have to do, whatever. But I’m going to get paid every time out.”
Masvidal will enter the UFC 251 main event riding stoppage wins over top-flight foes in Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz.
Do you think we’ve seen the last of the financial gripes between Jorge Masvidal and the UFC?