Dana White Reveals How Kamaru Usman Vs. Jorge Masvidal Was Made For UFC 251
Dana White has opened up on the negotiations which saw Jorge Masvidal replace Gilbert Burns to fight Kamaru Usman at UFC 251.
White drafted in Masvidal for this Saturday's huge UFC card after Burns was forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test.
The BMF steps in on six days notice for #UFC251 @VisitAbuDhabi #InAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/eNq5CZMTTM
- UFC (@ufc) July 6, 2020
'Gamebred' was originally supposed to face Usman for the UFC welterweight title before failing to strike a deal with White.
But the UFC boss returned to the Miami fighter once Burns was removed from the show.
"If you look at the 20 year history [of the UFC], this kind of stuff happens," he explained.
"When you get into negotiations for fights, these things happen. Gilbert Burns has been on a tear and was consistently fighting and wanted to continue to fight and was the number one contender, so Gilbert Burns made sense."
He added: "Obviously Masvidal has become a massive star over the last year and a half, and that's the fight that people want to see, so when Burns fell out, we got in a room and figured Masvidal out."
Masvidal finally makes his first UFC appearance of 2020 following a spectacular 2019. He stopped Darren Till and Ben Askren before capturing the BMF title after beating Nate Diaz last November.
Speaking about his deal to face Usman on six-days' notice, he said: "We had to break them down. That's why some people don't seem too happy that we're announcing it, they didn't want to talk about it too much.
"You can see it in their faces over their anger and anguish. I'm going to do my job always, which is to provide for me and my family, I'm not going to give a f**k what anybody says, this guy says, that guy says.
"I've been in this business a while. I know what I generate. We know what we generate. It's a numbers game. The numbers are there. It's not 'I think I deserve this.' No, I see on paper what I bring in. Me and my team know what I deserve."
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