Jorge Masvidal believes that MMA fans are not interested in watching Kamaru Usman and that it shows in the pay-per-view numbers.
Masvidal recently uploaded the latest episode of the documentary series "Fulltime Fighter" to his YouTube channel. In the episode, Masvidal spoke about the failed negotiations that strained his relationship with the UFC. He claimed UFC's refusal to pay him more than Kamaru Usman caused the fight to fall apart in March 2020.
"Negotiations have been crazy... But then I ended up the biggest draw of 2019... Usman had one of the lowest pay-per-view if not THE lowest pay-per-view of 2019."
ESPN+ became the exclusive platform for purchasing UFC events in mid-2019. The transition produced disastrous results initially as ESPN+ was not a familiar platform for UFC fans.
Jorge Masvidal reasoned that he managed to sell more pay-per-views than Kamaru Usman, despite having fought on the cards that were hampered by the ESPN+ deal. According to Gamebred, Usman's personality and fighting style do not interest fight fans, which reflects in the numbers his events generate.
"Though when the platform (ESPN+) had just started... Obviously the newer pay-per-views took the big hits because people did not have ESPN+... So when he got it was at the possible best moment... The most people had access than ever to this technology to be able to stream it without the problem. He didn't do nowhere near the buys that I did. It's just a reflection of his performance and the person that he is. People don't want to watch him."
Jorge Masvidal's assessment of Kamaru Usman is backed by the pay-per-view buys of their previous fights.
UFC 251, headlined by Masvidal and Usman, generated a staggering 1.3 million buys. However, the UFC 258 fight card that featured Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns as the main event is estimated to have sold around 500,000 pay-per-views.
Also Read: What is Jorge Masvidal's Net Worth in 2021?
Jorge Masvidal is one of the highest-selling pay-per-view stars in the UFC
Jorge Masvidal was not always a pay-per-view magnet. Upon his return from a two-year layoff from 2017 to 2018, Masvidal went on a three-fight finishing streak against Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz.
It considerably raised his popularity among the casual fans, but a lot of it can be attributed to the opponents he fought.
Till, Askren, and Diaz are some of the biggest names Masvidal has fought in his 49-fight professional MMA career. Although his performances served as the cherry on top, the fights garnered fans' attention equally or more because of Masvidal's opponents.
Jorge Masvidal will try to settle his beef with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 261, scheduled to take place on April 24, 2021.