In order for a fighter to stay relevant, they need to win but not all winners get to be a mega-star. To be star, a fighter needs to be have that “IT” factor that makes him marketable to the viewers. The IT factor could be charisma, fighting style and even background story.
Prior to Masvidal’s fight against Darren Till, he was not known to everyone. He was just a UFC veteran whose fights end up in a close decision. He took a break with sport for a year more than a year then started his #TheResurrection run where he knocked Darren Till out cold. It was the time when Askren also called out Till thinking he would beat Masvidal.
Then after that UFC booked Ben Askren vs Jorge Masvidal, it became the fastest knockout in UFC history ending in just 5 seconds. The knockout made Masvidal one of UFC’s biggest star. It is still ICONIC to this day.
After that Nate Diaz called him out, making the one time BMF belt. It featured a lot of celebrites where Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson put the belt on the winner which was Jorge Masvidal. Then US president, Donald Trump was also present in the building.
There was no doubt that Masvidal was a mega-star, that led to him demanding more pay for a potential title fight. The UFC was not willing to pay Masvidal bigger money so they tried to book Gilbert Burns as the next title challnger. Unfortunately, Burns tested positive for COVID, Masvidal then stepped in on short notice.
When Masvidal took the fight, the PPV numbers then went up becoming one of the biggest cards of the year in terms of revenue. Just by achieving this makes, no one can argue whether he is a star in the UFC. Sadly for Masvidal, he lost the fight in a one sided decision, the hype may have diminished a bit but it is also worth noting he took the fight without a full camp.
Now the UFC booked a rematch for Usman vs Masvidal, it is Masvidal’s second chance to a title shot. Obviously, Masvidal wants to win a title but he is also fighting for his fame as a loss here might remove his hype for good. Losing back to back in a one sided beatdown would make people not interested to watch him fight again.