It’s getting close now. Jorge Masvidal will finally fight for the welterweight title after months of speculation. In short, the Miami native agreed to replace Gilbert Burns on short notice. He’ll compete against the reigning champion, Kamaru Usman in the main event of UFC: Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
This is a major turnaround after Masvidal feuded with the UFC over money. Now the promotion is desperate so they backed down and gave him what he wanted. The fans are the real winners here because this is such a compelling match-up.
First of all, Masvidal and Usman must pass two more health checks. Then they have to make weight. For Masvidal, this means dropping 20 lbs in just a week. It’s a bold move from the veteran. But he already knows who he wants to defend the belt against if he wins.
Masvidal won the first-ever BMF Championship title when he defeated Nate Diaz last year. But the fight ended in controversial circumstances due to a doctor’s stoppage. However, he did dominate the fight and wants to put any dissent to rest. He thinks that he defeated Diaz fair and square, no matter what anybody else says.
“There are two guys on my radar heavy. Nate is one of them,” Masvidal told Ariel Helwani. “No matter what it was a good fight. Me or the world didn’t get the results that we wanted. I know Nate wants to run it back.
Speaking from the heart, I wanna run it back. When I get this title nothing would be better to give him the opportunity. He gave me to fight for his BMF belt. Come on. Come fight for this belt now. I’ll hand him over the favor.”
Another name he mentioned that fans might not expect is Stephen Thompson. The former kickboxer fought for the title twice, missing out both times against Tyron Woodley. Thompson does have a win over Masvidal and the latter would like to earn that back in the future. He thinks that he can perform better than he did when they first clashed. “Gamebred” said:
“Another dude that I’m definitely gonna be scrapping with at some point is Thompson. Not cause of anything personal. I got nothing but love and respect for this individual. But I would just love to run it back. I think I could do better than that night when we first met.”
However, ‘Gamebred’ wants to make as much money as possible. The veteran is here for a good time and not a long time. If the UFC doesn’t want to pay him, then he won’t fight. Masvidal broke through a glass ceiling and is now genuinely a draw. Winning the title would cap an amazing rise.
“I’m happy, more than anything, because I get to break this guy’s face, and get paid for it,” Masvidal said. “But one thing I’m not gonna do, which I’ve done a long part of my career, is get underpaid. That’s not gonna happen. Not from here going forward.