Jorge Masvidal Reveals How He Banked $5 Million For Kamaru Usman Fight

Jorge Masvidal has revealed how he made a career-high $5 million for his short-notice welterweight title fight against Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi back in July of 2020.

At the time Masvidal was at the peak of a meteoric rise in his stardom after a stellar three-fight winning streak that had seen him brutally KO Darren Till and then punch future 170lb champ Leon Edwards backstage during an interview, followed by breaking the UFC record for the fastest knockout of all-time with a 5 second flying knee against Ben Askren, topped off with becoming the symbolic ‘BMF’ title winner by TKO’ing Nate Diaz.

Masvidal was looking to leverage his new-found star power into getting a title shot against Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 next, but he was also looking for a major payday to go along with it, which the UFC balked at, opting to give Gilbert Burns the opportunity instead.

“Give me more money, not on the guarantee, but on the pay-per-views that I bring in,” Masvidal recalls telling the UFC at the time during a new interview with VladTV. “If I sell $100 million in pay-per-views, I want a much bigger share than what you guys are offering me.

“And it (negotiations) comes to a halt. We just don’t get to do that.”

However, Masvidal had the last laugh when the UFC had to come back to him when they suddenly needed a late replacement for Burns.

“So they go another route, and six days before the fight, the other route that they went with catches corona. And now the UFC calls me, and they need somebody that can fill in on six days’ notice.

“Fly across the world and cut 20 pounds of water in these six days and fight for a world title. There’s only one motherf*cker in the whole world that could get that call for the Bat Signal, and that’s this dude here. But I had to get paid, and I had to get paid very f*cking handsomely for doing this. So they gave in to all my demands that I had. And as far as that goes, I made out like a bandit because I got what I wanted.”

Masvidal wanted $5 million and having already heavily hyped up their first pay-per-view event at a mystery location at the time dubbed as ‘Fight Island’, the UFC agreed.

“We ended up selling right under 1.3 million pay-per-views,” Masvidal said in an interview with VladTV. “If I hadn’t struck that deal with the UFC, I wouldn’t have gotten nowhere near $5 million. I would have sold the same amount and gotten nowhere near $5 million. And I would have just felt like I got taken advantage of. So part of me, the business side of me, the prize fighter in me was very, very much satisfied and happy – for my kids, for myself, my family. But the guy that always wanted that world title belt wasn’t, you know?”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.