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Dana White on locking down Jorge Masvidal for UFC 251 - ‘We got in a room and figured him out’

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Jorge Masvidal vowed to fight again in 2020 after lashing out at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) earlier this year for not paying him what he felt he deserved for all his years of service for the promotion.

What he — and the rest of us — didn’t expect, though, is for him to fight so soon, as he will face Kamaru Usman for the Welterweight strap this weekend (Sat., July 11, 2020) at UFC 251 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. It’s a last-minute championship fight that came to fruition because Gilbert Burns was forced out of the headlining act after testing positive for COVID-19.

So how did Dana White and Masvidal manage to squash their differences so quickly? The outspoken head honcho broke it all down during a recent interview on ESPN.

“If you look at the 20 year history [of the UFC], this kind of stuff happens,” White said. “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.

“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,” he added.

Indeed, “Gamebred” had a stellar run in 2019, earning consecutive knockout wins over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz. That was a good enough put him at the front of the championship line. But when time came to sign on the dotted line, Masvidal and UFC hit a road block when it came to pay.

But now that the differences have been settled and Masvidal is under a new — and more lucrative — contract, “Gamebred” looks to add the 170-pound title to his mantle, right alongside his “BMF” strap.

Maybe there’s hope for Jon Jones yet.