Jorge Masvidal Has a Lot of Questions About the Ethics of How UFC Pays Its Fighters

After beating Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal has shown the world why he is the BMF of the UFC. That said, despite taking home the BMF belt, he hasn’t fought for a real belt in the UFC yet. One of the reasons why Jorge Masvidal hasn’t fought again is because of how the UFC pays its fighters.

The history of Jorge Masvidal

Before he ever dreamed of fighting in the UFC, he was a teenager who fought in backyards for YouTube videos. However, through hard work and training, he improved his skills and he became a real MMA fighter.

Eventually, he joined the UFC in 2013, but he wasn’t an especially remarkable fighter. He joined the UFC with a record of 23-7, and while he’d win some fights, he’d also lose some fights. 

Most of his fights went to a decision, and while the judges often gave him the win, other times, the judges gave him a loss. This pattern went on until about 2017, when he seemingly turned himself into a fighter who knocks people out. After knocking out Donald Cerrone, he lost two fights to high-level fighters. He then took a year off before coming back an even newer man.

In 2019, he knocked Darren Till out, and then he set the UFC record by knocking out Ben Askren in 5 seconds. Later that year, he fought and beat Diaz to win the BMF belt.

2019 was a great year for him, and fans were excited to see him fight Kamaru Usman for the real welterweight belt in 2020. However, that fight hasn’t happened yet due to negotiation issues with the UFC.

Jorge Masvidal fights with the UFC

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As he said on SportsCenter, he’s been negotiating with the UFC for a fight against Usman but the talks broke down when it came to the topic of fighter pay.

While he said that it wasn’t necessarily about wanting more money, he also said that he had questions about why the UFC was paying its fighters so less than what other major sports organizations were paying their athletes. 

For example, he said that leagues like the NBA, the NFL, and the MLB pay their athletes roughly 50% of the league’s revenue stream. In comparison, Masvidal said that he and other fighters get paid about 18% of the UFC’s revenue stream.

He questioned why the UFC has such a massive disparity in terms of fighter pay compared to other sports leagues, and he also had questions about where that money was going. 

Ultimately, the UFC stopped talking with Masvidal and gave Gilbert Burns, a rising Brazilian star, a shot against Usman. Like Masvidal said, Burns took the fight for much less money than what Masvidal was offered, and that ultimately puts him and other UFC fighters in a weird spot. 

Other UFC fighters are disgruntled about pay

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As Jorge Masvidal said on ESPN, other UFC fighters, such as Jon Jones, have come out and talked about how the UFC pays its fighters as well as the ethics behind it. Both men have asked the UFC to release them from their contracts, but the UFC hasn’t done that just yet.

They’re not alone in this struggle, either. In the past, Conor McGregor has fought with the UFC over his paycheck, and he seems to have lost that fight. That said, McGregor has seemingly returned to the fight and announced his “retirement” from the sport as a negotiation tactic. 

One of the reasons why the UFC gets to pay its athletes less than other organizations might be because other leagues have a player’s union. The UFC currently doesn’t have a fighter’s union, and as a result, fighters like Masvidal, Jones, and McGregor have to fight to get paid what they’re worth.