Jorge Masvidal is taking a page out of Jon Jones’ playbook and directly challenging UFC president Dana White about money and how much he’s worth.
As negotiations have slowed for Masvidal to take a shot at the title against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, the BMF champion has been verbally sparring with White over his potential payment for the fight and his independent contractor status. White, never one to sit out a battle, has fired back, but Masvidal isn’t the only one in this fight — other UFC stars are backing him up.
Masvidal airs frustrations about negotiations
Masvidal was busy on Twitter on Friday, venting his frustrations about the negotiations for him to fight Usman for the welterweight title.
Why make me fight for half of what I made on my last fight cause the other dude can’t draw?— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) June 5, 2020
Masvidal feels he’s being lowballed and is worth much more than what he’s being offered. He dismissed any claim that the COVID-19 pandemic requires him to be paid any less than what he’s worth, especially since he feels he’s done exactly what the UFC has asked him to do.
Don’t tell me about a pandemic when reports today show highest stock market has ever been. Everybody getting back to work and you buying an island. Stop playing us and the fans #theawakening— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) June 5, 2020
History lesson for all the new fans that might have just started following my beautiful sport: 16 yr been at this. Never once turned down a fight. Asked to go fight #3 at the time in his hometown across the pond after a year off. Ko of the year nominee. Asked to fight #5— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) June 5, 2020
Masvidal also tweeted that he and Usman are being played against each other in negotiations, for the UFC’s ultimate benefit.
They told me he asked for way too much. They playing us— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) June 5, 2020
Dana White responds
White wasted no time in responding to Masvidal, addressing his comments at a news conference on Friday. Not surprisingly, he disagrees with Masvidal’s entire argument and disputes that the UFC bought an island.
“I think everybody wants more money. I think everybody wants more money in all these other sports. Masvidal says, ‘You’ve got enough money to buy islands.’ Let me repeat for the f---ing billionth time: I did not buy an island, OK? We did not buy an island.
“The reason we’re doing the Island is so that fights can go and these kids from Europe and the rest of the world can make money and can work. I think a lot of people are really frustrated and confused – or whatever the situation is right now.”
White also touched on the fighters’ independent contractor status, arguing that they’re not bound to the UFC and can go elsewhere if they’re unsatisfied. Unlike athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB and more, UFC athletes do not have a union.
“Anybody that doesn’t want to fight doesn’t have to fight, including Masvidal and Jon Jones and all these other guys. It doesn’t have to be because of the pandemic. These guys are independent contractors. This isn’t like the NFL where I can make you: ‘You come to practice and you do this or you’re going to get fined or you’re going to get this.’ These guys can do whatever they want. They can say whatever they want.
“… We’re not begging people to fight. We’re offering fights because in our contract, I have to give you three fights a year. You have the ability to turn them down and not take them.”
Masvidal fires back, other fighters support him
A few hours after White made his comments, Masvidal responded.
Please don’t compare us to these other leagues. I wish we can negotiate for less pay like the other leagues where the players get half the revenue they generate. We are negotiating from like what 12% to maybe 18% of revenue we generate? We are negotiating down from way under https://t.co/qPmbyWkuaK— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) June 5, 2020
50% of the revenue. I don’t get paid on the hot dog you sell in the arena or the logo on the cage. I’ve never made a dollar on a ticket you sell. I get punched in the face for a living and even I know the pandemic or what’s left of it has nothing to do with it— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) June 5, 2020
From here, who knows what will happen. This could be a protracted fight, or both sides could come to an agreement tomorrow. But it seems like there’s some momentum building for this to be a longer battle, and not just between Masvidal and White.
Jon Jones, who is feuding with White over his salary demands for a fight with Francis Ngannou, relinquished his title and asked for his release last week. Several other MMA fighters like Ben Askren and Cub Swanson came to Masvidal’s defense and supported him on Twitter.
Sounds like they have a revolt on their hands https://t.co/tlCt8eNJ9d— Funky Ben (@Benaskren) June 5, 2020
If all fighters stood up right now and supported this ... You would all double your money 🤦♂️🤦♂️🤦♂️ Sad this shit is still going on— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) June 5, 2020
50% revenue split would be fair— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) June 5, 2020
And a pension or retirement fund— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) June 5, 2020
......and Medical for life— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) June 5, 2020
It looks like there might be a movement for unionization brewing amongst the UFC’s fighters. If they all stand together, we could see major change come to the UFC.
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