In an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC) pointed to one main hold-up: Usman’s asking price. According to the “BMF” titleholder Masvidal, Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) is trying, and failing, at negotiating big bucks from the UFC.
“Kamaru has asked for an insane amount of money,” Masvidal said. “He had one of the worst pay-per-view cards of 2019. I had the best – just by numbers. This is not an opinion. I had the most sold pay-per-views of 2019. So he thinks he’s hit the jackpot and he’s asking crazy money from the UFC. The UFC has told him, ‘No,’ on several occasions.”
With the UFC unwilling to accommodate Usman’s requests, Masvidal indicated he’s unsure which matchup will be his next. Recently, Nate Diaz’s name has slid into the public conversation. Masvidal did not rule out Diaz (20-12 MMA, 18-11 UFC) as his next opponent, citing Diaz’s willingness to fight when Usman won’t compete for a reasonable price.
“I don’t know,” Masvidal said. “To tell you the truth and be honest with you, I don’t think Nate has a problem with going at all. I think Nate is ready to go and he’s willing to go. Usman is asking for… you know people in the UFC. Go find out how much money he’s asking for. He’s asking for an absurd amount of money – an absurd amount of money.
“The UFC has said, ‘(Expletive) that. Who are you, man?’ How could you ask for this amount of money guaranteed when you’re not a draw. You’re not a draw. You’re not a household name. Nobody knows you. Even the hardcores in this sport don’t care for you. He doesn’t have a commanding force like, ‘Hey, I could bring 300,000 pay-per-views, blah, blah, blah.’ No, he doesn’t do that.”
Masvidal’s next fight booking remains to be seen. However, the 36-year-old welterweight fighter has not competed since UFC 244 in November, when he stopped Diaz on cuts in Round 4.
As for Usman, the UFC welterweight champion most recently headlined UFC 245 in December. Against bitter rival Colby Covington, Usman successfully defended his title for the first time when he picked up a fifth-round TKO.