When Jorge Masvidal beat Nate Diaz at UFC 244 to pick up the newly minted ‘BMF’ title it appeared that the UFC had a found themselves a new major star. Masvidal’s cool demeanor, streetwise attitude, and recent string of stellar knockout victories captivated fans. For a 35-year-old who has spent the entirety of his adult life fighting in MMA it seemed as though he had found his moment to truly shine.
Just where that shine will take him, however, has been a little less clear. A bout with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman seemed like the obvious next move. The biggest fight that the champion could possibly take at the moment, and an opportunity for ‘Gamebred’ to add a much more substantial belt to his collection.
But not long after the idea was floated, it seemed to be dead in the water. “We have something else interesting for Masvidal,” White told ESPN in early May.
Flash forward another month and whatever those plans are, they don’t seem to be doing well.
“Shouldn’t be this hard to get a deal done,” Masvidal posted on his Twitter account, on June 2nd—along with the hashtag #fuckery. A couple days later he followed up with what appears to be a request to ESPN, for release from his UFC contract.
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
In the recent war of words between UFC president Dana White and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, concerning Jones’ own request to renegotiate his contract, White told ESPN that Jones “couldn’t be asking for a more absurd amount of money at a worse time”—likely referring to the ongoing pandemic, which has caused the UFC to cancel events, lose gate revenue, and spend a whole lot of money to rent a private island to host fights. But, if White is hoping to use the pandemic as a cudgel against fighters looking to increase their share of the profit, Masvidal doesn’t seem to be buying it.
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
He’s even prepared for the haters who will tell him he’s already making what he’s worth, or that he should just stick to the contract he signed.
Watch the company men and the ufc white knights come out and condemn my train of thought. You’ll quickly see who’s in their pockets— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) June 5, 2020
Jones’ public feud with the UFC has already seemed to pay off at least a little bit. White recently told reporters that Jones “is a partner in this business,” and that the two sides would figure something out to bring Jones back to the Octagon. Whether or not Masvidal has the kind of sway to make the UFC reconsider remains to be seen.