For the second time in two weeks, Ultimate Fighting Championship finds itself in a public dispute over money with one of its most popular fighters.
A week after Jon Jones threatened to relinquish the light heavyweight title and ask for his release, welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal has done the same.
"I'm not an independent contractor if I can't go anywhere else to make a living," Masvidal tweeted on Friday afternoon at the end of a number of tweets addressing the situation. "Let me go and let me see if I'm worth it."
Masvidal, 35, was expected to take on middleweight champion Kamaru Usman in July, but the fight has fallen through in negotiations. The Miami native is on a three-fight winning streak and was in the Octagon most recently in November when he defeated Nate Diaz by third-round TKO at UFC 244 for the "BMF" title that was presented to him by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Earlier on Friday, UFC president Dana White said that fighters don't need to fight if they don't want to because they are independent contractors.
"Anybody that doesn't want to fight doesn't have to fight," White said. "Including Masvidal and Jon Jones and all these other guys. And it doesn't have to be because of a pandemic. These guys are independent contractors. ... We're not begging people to fight."
Masvidal rejected White's comparison to any other major sports leagues because the revenue in UFC isn't split in the same manner.
"We are negotiating from, like, what 12 per cent to maybe 18 per cent of revenue we generate?" Masvidal tweeted. "We are negotiating down from way under...I don't get paid on the hot dog you sell in the arena or the logo on the cage. I've never made a dollar on a ticket you sell. I get punched in the face for a living and even I know the pandemic or what's left of it has nothing to do with it."
50% of the revenue. I don’t get paid on the hot dog you sell in the arena or the logo on the cage. I’ve never made a dollar on a ticket you sell. I get punched in the face for a living and even I know the pandemic or what’s left of it has nothing to do with it— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) June 5, 2020
Masvidal is represented by the same agency as Jones is.