Prior to the UFC 250 face-offs, Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC) issued a series of tweets in which he voiced his displeasure regarding his portion of the current promotion.
At a news conference held not long after, White responded to Masvidal’s claims of disrespect and lowballing. White took particular exception with Masvidal’s criticism of the UFC “buying” an island instead of paying their fighters their fair share.
“I think everybody wants more money,” White said. “I think everybody wants more money in all these other sports. Masvidal says, ‘You’ve got enough money to buy islands.’ Let me repeat for the (expletive) billionth time: I did not buy an island, OK? We did not buy an island.
“The reason we’re doing the (‘Fight) Island’ is so that fights can go and these kids from Europe and the rest of the world can make money and can work. I think a lot of people are really frustrated and confused – or whatever the situation is right now.”
White continued to reinforce on the nature of his fighters are independent contractors. Whether a fighter is a champion or making his debut, White reiterated that no fighter is being forced to compete.
“Anybody that doesn’t want to fight doesn’t have to fight, including Masvidal and Jon Jones and all these other guys,” White said. “It doesn’t have to be because of the pandemic. These guys are independent contractors. This isn’t like the NFL where I can make you: ‘You come to practice and you do this or you’re going to get fined or you’re going to get this.’ These guys can do whatever they want. They can say whatever they want.
“… We’re not begging people to fight. We’re offering fights because in our contract, I have to give you three fights a year. You have the ability to turn them down and not take them.”
Soon after the news conference, Masvidal doubled down on Twitter. He took exception withhis boss comparing the UFC to other major leagues, especially financially-speaking.
Masvidal also questioned his independent contractor status, which restricts him from backing out and looking for work elsewhere.
“I’m not an independent contractor if I can’t go anywhere else to make a living,” Masvidal wrote. “Let me go and let me see if I’m worth it”
For weeks, Masvidal has been in talks for a title shot against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. However, in recent days, all parties involved have hinted that negotiations have slowed.
Masvidal has not competed since his “BMF” title fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 244 this past November.
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