In case you are wondering why there will never be a union in MMA, look no further than the UFC welterweight division, where one main contender openly celebrates his salary while another main contender claims that the promotion is ripping him off.
Gilbert Burns is slated to fight 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman in the upcoming UFC 251 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, taking place on July 11 in Abu Dhabi. An opportunity he got after the matchmakers failed to agree with Jorge Masvidal.
“They offered me a lot of money,” Burns told MMA Fighting. “More money than many guys fight for the title. I am happy about my situation. I’m making just money for a title shot. I have a new contract, more money and being the champion, I will have everything the champion has and I am happy with my contract at the moment. “
Masvidal insists that Burns was swindled.
“Of course, he took the lowest possible money to fight for a title,” Masvidal said on his YouTube channel. “He can do whatever he wants with his time and his skill set, and so can I. I want to be paid for mine. I have nothing negative or positive to say about the upcoming fight. I don’t care. I’m just worried about myself. “
Masvidal is not the only fighter unhappy with his current salary. Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones recently left his title and returned to the bench after the UFC offered him no incentive for a Francis Ngannou fight in the heavyweight division.
“I understand Masvidal’s side, he wants more money,” Burns said. “But I think it all comes down to administration. If you just signed an agreement, why would you ask for a new agreement? It just doesn’t make sense. I think everything is in the negotiations. I think there is a better way to make those deals than to just complain. “
The UFC is not a sport, it is a brand, and leverage will always be maintained with promotion. Helping their cause is the fact that every MMA fighter in the world is trying to make their way in the Octagon, so it remains a buyer’s market.