After 47 professional fights knocking out and submitting a host of worthy advisories on his hunt for gold, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal has finally fought his way into title contention. This comes after his stunning 5-second knock out of the previously undefeated Olympic wrestler Ben Askren.
While his name is just now being thrust into the mainstream, Masvidal has been fighting professionally since 2003. After stints in smaller organizations, such as Bellator and Strikeforce, Masvidal made his UFC debut on April 20th, 2013 in a unanimous decision victory against Tim Means in San Jose, CA.
The career of Jorge Masvidal
He began his UFC career fighting at lightweight (155 lbs.), before deciding to jump up to welterweight (170 lbs.). The reason being, to retain the power he felt he lost when he fought in the smaller division. The move yielded the intended result for Masvidal, scoring a first-round knockout in his welterweight debut against Cezar Ferreira.
From 2015 to 2017 Masvidal went 4-3 in the welterweight division, accumulating a total of two knockouts, two decision victories, and three decision losses, before taking time off in 2018.
Rejuvenated and ready to fight, Masvidal started 2019 calling for a fight against any ranked opponent in the welterweight division, and lucky for him Darren Till was also in search of a rebound fight after his 2018 loss to then-champion Tyron Woodley via second-round submission.
The odds, according to Las Vegas and fight analyst favored Till, largely due to his size. While many doubted Masvidal, he felt relieved to be fighting an opponent who fights similar to himself.
They’re both strikers, whose sole objective is to knock out their opposition. This was a breath of fresh air for Masvidal as his two previous opponents, Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson, were unorthodox in the way in which they fought. This style caused Masvidal to stall offensively, resulting in two decision losses.
Jorge Masvidal vs. Darren Till
On March 16th, 2019, Masvidal got exactly was he asked for; a brawl. The first round went to Till, who controlled the fight, landing a left jab that sat Masvidal on the canvas.
Laughing off the punch, Masvidal came back in the second round, catching on to, then exploiting a pattern in Till’s game. He went on to knock Till out cold with a winging left overhand, followed by second left, and another left while Till is lying unconscious on the canvas.
Masvidal followed the beautiful knockout of Darren Till with a behind the scenes altercation with Leon Edwards (another welterweight fighter). Afterward, Masvidal justified his actions by stating that he was scared of the “hooligan” Leon, and assumed that he was going to be attacked, so he swung on him, delivering, “a three-piece and a soda.”
Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren
Submerged in the O2 Arena crowd that night was Ben Askren, who had hopes of fighting Till, until that vicious knockout shattered his plans.
Redirecting his sights to Masvidal, Askren booked the fight and initiated his almost four-month-long campaign of trash talk. All the talk prompted Masvidal to be reposed until the night of the fight. He unleashed with a sprint and a perfectly executed flying knee to the side of Askren’s head. The fight was over in less than five seconds.
Gamebred’s key to stardom
Masvidal’s name already had some heat after the Darren Till knockout, and the infamous “three-piece and a soda,” quote delivered after the bombs thrown at Leon Edward’s face. The record-breaking flying knee knockout of Ben Askren only catapulted is already growing stardom, justifying a big money fight, and a shot at the title.
Masvidal is in a unique position due to his two stunning 2019 knockouts and overall gangster persona. The next logical step in his evolution from star to superstar is a fight with someone such as Conor McGregor.
Besides the obvious reason as to why a fight with Conor would boost Masvidal’s stardom (Conor McGregor being a megastar), a key component that would amplify the magnitude of the fight would be the trash talk.
As we all know, Masvidal hates trash talk, and if we go back to the Khabib press conferences, we know that Conor is ruthless with it.
Although Dana White has been quoted saying that Masvidal is too big for Conor, all that really means is that Masvidal may have to drop back down to Lightweight to make the fight happen.
If he’s chasing stardom, a trip back down to 155 may be the answer. What do you think?