BMF Jorge Masvidal was widely believed to the next challenger for UFC lightweight champion Kamaru Usman, but negotiations fell apart over money, and now Gilbert Burns gets the shot at UFC 251 on July 11.
“It’s not a surprise,” said UFC president Dana White at Friday's pre-event media scrum. “I mean, this is what we do. We’ve been doing this for 20 years. People who want to fight get fights, and people who don’t, don’t.
“And [Burns is] the No. 1 ranked guy in the world. No. 1 vs. the champion. And this kid wants to stay busy. These kids who come out and go on runs like Burns is on and want to keep fighting and stay active, they’re healthy, it’s the smartest thing they can do. And it doesn’t surprise me that Masvidal … Masvidal is very much like the Diaz brothers. He beats to the sound of his own drum. When he wants to do something, he does it. It’s not very surprising at all.”
Several other top fighters including the #1 P4P fighter in the league Jon Jones have recently complained bitterly about the revenue split in the UFC, which is around 20%, well short of the approximately 50% that goes to athletes in the NBA, NFL, MLB, and boxing. White is not impressed.
“Listen, I’m putting on fights every weekend for the next 10 years. If you want to fight, call us. We’ll offer you fights, and if you don’t want to take them, you don’t have to. It’s always been that way.
“Everybody’s acting like this is some new f***ing drama that just popped up, and this has never happened before in the history of the sport. This happens all the time, non-stop.”
“There’s a lot of new people covering us. There’s a lot of new people that don’t know a lot about the sport. That’s new. This isn’t new. This is the same old s***. And all these fighers that are [unhappy], they share in the revenue. They do share in the revenue. They have the upside on the pay-per-view. And guys that sell pay-per-view make a lot of money.”