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Jorge Masvidal reached a deal with the UFC, but he’s ‘still leading the charge’ for better fighter pay

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Jorge Masvidal’s personal battle with the UFC over money may have come to an end with a new deal to fight Kamaru Usman. But he said the war for a better cut of the company’s revenue isn’t over.

“Still leading the charge,” Masvidal told MMA Fighting when asked about fighter pay concerns during the UFC 251 virtual media day. “I think I just set an example to lead the charge. They offered me a deal, I didn’t like it. I didn’t take it. God fixed it on the back end for me.

“They came back with a much better deal. So I’m here. If not, believe me this is not nowhere near the same deal they offered me before. If not, I wouldn’t be here.”

For several weeks, the “BMF” champion sounded the alarm over what he believed was an insulting offer when the UFC attempted to secure him for the welterweight title fight on July 11. He said the UFC was offering him less money to face Usman than what he earned to take on Nate Diaz this past November, and he took serious issue with the UFC’s share of revenue relative to what is paid out to fighters.

Perhaps his biggest gripe beyond the actual monetary compensation is the UFC’s strong arm way of negotiation, which he called a “take it or leave it” approach to every fight contract.

Less than one week ago, however, Masvidal and his managers Malki and Abraham Kawa got on the phone with the UFC and finally hashed out a deal for his fight at UFC 251. While Masvidal has said he’s ultimately happy with the offer the UFC made, he doubled down on his plans to continue the battle for better pay moving forward.

Masvidal said he’s satisfied for the time being, but that doesn’t mean he’ll never be at odds with the UFC over money again in the future. As part of his new deal for UFC 251, he fought for a better percentage of pay-per-view profits, which are only paid out to certain athletes depending on the contract. He expects that to be a constant fight in addition to the push for better pay.

“I’m leading that campaign whether I have the belt or not, which I am going to have the belt,” Masvidal said. “If I wasn’t competing for the belt, I’d still be campaigning for a belt around my waist.

“I’m still going to be campaigning, not just for more money for me, but for all my brothers and sisters in the sport. Especially when it comes to a revenue share of the pay-per-view. That’s really what I’m voicing my opinion on.”