Jorge Masvidal exposes behind the scenes and recalls multimillion-dollar deal after fight for UFC belt

'Jesus das Ruas' replaced Gilbert Durinho and faced Kamaru Usman for multimillion-dollar amounts still in the 'pandemic era'

J. Masvidal at the UFC press conference. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

J. Masvidal at the UFC press conference. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

In July of 2020, the UFC 251 found himself in trouble when Gilbert Durinho, a challenger for the welterweight belt (up to 77kg.), tested positive for COVID-19. The search for a replacement was urgent, and Jorge masvidal, at first an unlikely name, emerged as the savior of the country. Accepting the challenge at the last minute, the North American embarked on a lightning-fast journey to Abu Dhabi, where he would face the champion Kamaru Usman.

However, Usman, undefeated at the time, won by unanimous decision. But, beyond the title fight, Masvidal revealed a little-known side of the story: the millionaire sum he received for accepting the fight at such short notice.


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In an interview with VladTV, Jorge confessed to having pocketed US$5 million (around R$25,5 million) for the fight against Usman. An astronomical value, considering the short preparation time and low expectations for pay-per-view sales.

“We ended up selling less than 1,3 million PPVs. If I hadn't done that deal with the UFC, I wouldn't have gotten anywhere near $5 million. So, part of me, the business side of me, was very satisfied, but the guy who always wanted the world belt wasn't,” said the fighter.


The delivery of 'Jesus das Ruas', however, may not have helped the UFC like this. The North American was dominated by the Nigerian and ended up being defeated by the judges' unanimous decision. Later, he even got a rematch for 'saving' the event, but Usman achieved an even more brutal outcome: one of the most terrifying knockouts of all time.

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