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Jorge Masvidal lashes out at the UFC’s ‘take it or leave it’ approach to fight negotiations

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jorge Masvidal isn’t denying that he inked a new multi-fight contract with the UFC just before facing Nate Diaz last year but the context really matters.

On Saturday, the UFC’s only “BMF” champion took aim at the promotion over his current negotiations for a title fight against reigning welterweight king Kamaru Usman. According to Masvidal, the UFC is offering him less money to fight for the title than he made to take on Diaz in his most recent performance.

In response, UFC president Dana White quickly pointed out that Masvidal signed a new eight-fight deal prior to the fight, and he still has seven more fights remaining on the contract.

Masvidal fired back in a series of Twitter messages on Sunday while explaining how the contract extension was less of a gift and more a requirement if he wanted to get the fight with Diaz in the first place.

“I’m in a contract that I had to take to get paid,” Masvidal said. “Same way I got a new contract to fight (Darren) Till. Then a new contract to fight Nate. They keep extending the amounts of fights to my contract to keep me locked up and when I say I only want a 4-fight contract it’s take it or leave it.

“The negotiation is take it or leave it. If I lose, you can cut me and not pay out the rest of the contract. If I win, I’m not in a position to renegotiate the contract? My dad left a communist regime and has prepared me my whole life.”

As part of a standard UFC contract, the promotion also retains the right to extend a deal if a fighter gets injured and becomes unable to compete or turns down a fight that’s offered to them. In other words, because Masvidal already has a contract, the UFC is obligated to offer him a certain amount of fights but if he doesn’t accept for whatever reason, the deal gets extended.

That means, Masvidal will remain under contract with the UFC until he completes the seven-fights remaining on his current deal.

“I can’t leave,” Masvidal wrote. “They own me until they cut me or I fight out my contract.”

The UFC will often renegotiate with a fighter even when a contract isn’t finished but that doesn’t mean the old contract is negated just because they can’t come to terms. The restrictive nature of the deals, along with the compensation, he’s receiving seems to rub Masvidal the wrong way and he knows he’s not alone with these complaints.

“Why are all the major names having issues?” Masvidal said. “Conor (McGregor), (Jon) Jones, (Henry) Cejudo. We have to take it or retire. I love fighting and this is the fight of our lives.”

As of now, Masvidal remains sidelined with no clear answer on when he’ll fight again.

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