Masvidal is not fighting for free but would prefer to avenge the loss become the UFC champion rather over a big paycheck match. After losing to Kamaru at UFC 251, Masvidal is desperate for a rematch. The fight had come up just at six days notice when Gilbert Burns was forced off the card due to Covid-19 and Masvidal had taken his place, but had lost to Kamaru via unanimous Decision.
No more than anything, he wants to face Kamaru in a rematch. “Usman obviously, it’s a no-brainer,” Masvidal told ESPN when asked what he ideally wants next.
“Usman. Could they offer me bigger names and pay me more money? Yes. For a fact. But if it’s up to me, Usman. For me stepping up on six days’ notice when nobody else would. Cause a lot of people are saying they would, but who else did it? Who else really actually asked [UFC President] Dana [White]?
Who else was actually like, ‘Hey, if Masvidal doesn’t do it, I will do it, I’m right here, I’m ready to go, let’s do it.” “If it’s up to me, of course, Usman right away. I don’t care if they could offer me a bigger fight or not. I would like to fight Usman.”
However, the bigger prospect for him would be to face the ormer two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor, who technically retired for the third time in June.
Despite declaring his intention to retire, McGregor has made that promise before. For one reason or another, he returned to the octagon. A fight against Masvidal could serve as the exact kind of motivation to lure him back to the UFC.
Masvidal would definitely not mind the extra zero’s on his paycheck if he faces the Notorious one but would rather prefer go after Kamaru and his title.
“You could tell me that McGregor right now would make X, Y, Z dollars, the biggest pay-per-view event in history right, and I’m going to get paid forever”
“I feel like I got compensated well enough now, that I keep making the right decisions that I’ve been doing, then this money is forever money. So it’s not about money. It’s about I want that damn belt and I’m stubborn. I know I’m better than Usman and I want to prove it. I want to fight again. I’m not going to take nothing from him. He won the first one. Let’s do it again. That’s it.”
“After that, then we can start with whatever comes next after that, but Usman’s the thing that I want the most. The immediate rematch is Usman for me now.”
UFC 251 reportedly sold around 1.3 million buys, and Masvidal confirmed his salary from the fight will be the most lucrative of his career. “I’m sure Usman would be on board, because this was the most money he’s made,” Masvidal said. “His other pay-per-view [against Colby Covington], and this is just talking numbers, facts, so this is not taking a shot at him or nothing, but this is actually truth. His actual last UFC [pay-per-view] had similar guys on the card — Max Holloway, Volkanovski, things like that — same similar formula. I wasn’t added to that formula, and that card didn’t do that well. I think that card did under 300,000 [buys], something like that.”
“Now this card does this well, I’m not trying to knock nobody on the card or nothing. But there has to be some recipe that was different from that other card. He has a brain, he knows probably some of that credit is due to me. So if he wants to make that big boy money again, come on, we got to run it back. Let’s go. So in business it makes sense.”
After returning home, Masvidal said that he already started riding his bike and working out to burn out the frustation from the defeat.
When it comes to the timing for his next fight,
Masvidal wasn’t ready to commit to anything just yet, but he added “as long as it’s Usman,” he would absolutely compete again in 2020.