Money Vs. Preparation? ‘I Was Just F—king Hanging Out’

Jorge Masvidal will forever go down in history as the first Baddest Motherf—ker (BMF) champion.

The BMF title win led Masvidal to his first career Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title fight in July 2020. Unfortunately for “Gamebred,” the circumstances weren’t ideal for his clash with the then-champion, Kamaru Usman, at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi.

Usman was originally set to defend his belt against Gilbert Burns until the challenger contracted COVID-19 and was forced out of the contest. Masvidal recalled negotiating for the title shot for a while before the promotion turned to Burns, and he knew what he wanted. It never came to fruition until there was no other choice on one week’s notice.

“When I got the call to fight Usman on six days’ notice, me and the UFC had been going back [and forth] because I wanted more pay-per-view money,” Masvidal said on the TimboSugar Show. “I wanted a bigger distribution on the pay-per-views that I was bringing in, and they weren’t really budging. They wanted to give me more on this side, but here, we’re gonna have to this and chop, chop.

“I’m like, ‘Nah, I don’t want that deal. If I bring in money, I want to get paid money,’” he continued. “If I sell 100,000 pay-per-views the don’t f—king give me s—t. If I sell a million pay-per-views, I wanted to get f—king paid.

“It came to a halt on negotiations and I was like ah f—k. I guess it’s not meant to be,” Masvidal concluded.

A big point of contingency for Masvidal was comparing the opportunity to his first and only Strikeforce title shot at Lightweight against Gilbert Melendez in December 2011. Masvidal claims he made $16,000 for the bout, which he lost via a unanimous decision.

Masvidal, 39, had all the leverage after Burns fell out and wanted to right his wrongs from his past experience. Ultimately, the fight result was the same and the Welterweight veteran still contemplates whether it was the right move or not because of that.

“I want the same deal I was asking you for but just better now,” Masvidal said. “I got six days to do it and 20 pounds to go. So I f—king went to war with them, fought for everything I could. I made more money than I ever did in my whole career because I made sure everything was right and going forward it stayed exactly the same, belt or no belt. My pay-per-view threshold was very good.

“I didn’t get the decision I wanted in the fight and that always stayed with me,” he continued. “Like, man, how about if I had trained these seven weeks like I was fighting for a title? It would have been completely different because I really wasn’t doing much. I was just f—king hanging out.”

Despite the lopsided loss to Usman, Masvidal received an immediate rematch and battled Usman again at UFC 261 in April 2021. The outcome wound up worse than before as he lost via second round knockout. Masvidal returns to action for a boxing rematch against Nate Diaz on July 6, 2024.

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