Jorge Masvidal has signed a new multi-fight deal ahead of UFC 251 against Kamaru Usman but believes he and the organization are ‘not there yet’ financially.
According to Masvidal, he is happier about the opportunity to ‘break’ Usman’s face after Gilbert Burns was pulled for testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“I’m happy more than anything because I get to break this guy’s face and get paid for it,” Masvidal said about fighting Usman on six days notice in Abu Dhabi.
After recent failed negotiations, Masvidal has not changed his stance about fighter pay and will do whatever it takes to get paid even if it means a short-notice fight.
“We’re not there yet, but we’re headed in that direction,” Masvidal said about his new deal. “Moving forward after this fight, they’re gonna treat me accordingly. Or I’ll just step in last minute six days to go and get paid then, I guess. That’s the new scheme I have to do, whatever. But I’m gonna get paid every time out.”
Considering what has transpired over the last couple of months, it is amazing that Masvidal is stepping up on short notice to fight for the welterweight champion belt.
After spectacular wins against Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz in 2019, Masvidal has an opportunity to eclipse that with a short-notice win over Usman.
With Masvidal earning his first shot after 48 fights, winning the belt at this stage of his career would be an incredible feat for one of the most popular fighters.
However, Usman is currently on a 15-fight winning streak (second defense) with his high-level wrestling while his striking continues to improve with each bout now.
As Masvidal has not had a full training camp, his takedown defense and cardio will be two major factors in determining who walks out of Abu Dhabi with the belt.
If Usman successfully defends his belt, it is very likely the UFC will reschedule the Burns fight, who is his teammate and current No. 1 contender in the division.
If Masvidal becomes the new champion, he is interested in a Diaz or Stephen Thompson rematch, but it could be enough to bring Conor McGregor back.