Jorge Masvidal recently criticized Burns for accepting an alleged low payout for the title fight, but Burns disagrees with Masvidal and says he is happy with the UFC 251 payout.
“They offered me a great amount of money,” Burns said to MMA Fighting. “More money than a lot of guys get fighting for the title. I’m happy for my situation. But I’m putting myself in that position to get those fights. I understand Masvidal’s side, he wants more money. But I think it all comes down to management. If you just signed a deal, how come you going to ask for a new deal? It just doesn’t make sense. I think it’s all in the negotiations.”
Masvidal and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones have been speaking out in recent weeks over how the UFC pays their fighters, a situation that may have inadvertently seen Burns get caught in the crossfire.
Burns also believes that Masvidal is handling things the wrong way in his battle against UFC fighter pay.
“I don’t think that helped,” Burns said. “I don’t think that’s helping Masvidal’s side. I think my case is a strong case. He was fighter of the year in 2019. I’m already two fights [in this year], two great performances, I believe I earned the title shot, but I understand those guys want more money and everything. I think there’s a better way to get those deals done than just complain. Like we saw a couple guys, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] never complained about money. D.C. [Daniel Cormier] never complained about money. [Georges St-Pierre], a lot of guys, I know these guys make a great amount of money, and they don’t need to go against the UFC, throw everything in the media. I just think there’s a better way than going on social media [and saying], ‘Oh let me go, give me more money or let me go.’ I think you’ve got a better way to do business than this way.”
UFC 251 takes place on Saturday, July 11 from Fight Island in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.