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Dana White responds to Jorge Masvidal asking for UFC release: ‘We’re not begging people to fight’

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UFC 249 Mitchell v Rosa Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Jorge Masvidal has joined Jon Jones in asking for his release from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) should the promotion not acknowledge his value, and UFC president Dana White seems okay with that.

White, who joined reporters for his patented media scrum following the conclusion of UFC 250’s weigh ins earlier today (Fri., June 5, 2020), discussed Masvidal’s recent concerns that the promotion was stiffing him on a payday to challenge current UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

“I think everybody wants more money,” said White. “I think everybody wants more money in all these other sports. Masvidal says, ‘You’ve got enough money to buy islands.’ Let me repeat for the (expletive) billionth time: I did not buy an island, OK? We did not buy an island.

“The reason we’re doing the (‘Fight) Island’ is so that fights can go and these kids from Europe and the rest of the world can make money and can work. I think a lot of people are really frustrated and confused – or whatever the situation is right now.”

While UFC and White are doing everything in their power to stage fights and continue business as the rest of the sports world recovers it doesn’t seem like the promotion is willing to change any contracts anytime soon. That includes Masvidal, Jones, or just about anybody who is asking for more money.

“Anybody that doesn’t want to fight doesn’t have to fight, including Masvidal and Jon Jones and all these other guys,” White said. “It doesn’t have to be because of the pandemic. These guys are independent contractors. This isn’t like the NFL where I can make you: ‘You come to practice and you do this or you’re going to get fined or you’re going to get this.’ These guys can do whatever they want. They can say whatever they want.

“… We’re not begging people to fight. We’re offering fights because in our contract, I have to give you three fights a year. You have the ability to turn them down and not take them.”

Masvidal, 35, has become one of the promotion’s biggest stars after taking out Nate Diaz, Ben Askren, and Darren Till in 2019 en route to claiming the “BMF” title this past November. “Gamebred” has already stated that he’s willing to fight Usman, Diaz, Conor McGregor, Colby Covington, or Leon Edwards, so maybe something can be worked out in short time.

After all, the bickering can’t go on forever.