BMF Jorge Masvidal was supposed to fight UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, but negotiations fell apart over money so badly that "Gamebred" asked for his release, and Gilbert Burns got the shot. Then Burns got COVID-19 and Masvidal negotiated a new deal, and fights for the title on Saturday night at UFC 251.
UFC president Dana White spoke recently with ESPN about how it happened.
“If you look at the 20 year history [of the UFC], this kind of stuff happens," said White. "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.”