Jorge Masvidal returned to the Octagon at UFC 287 in his hometown of Miami, Florida. Fighting in the co-main event, with the main attraction being Alex Pereira’s highly expected rematch against former UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, ‘Gambred’ took on another Brazilian in the form of Gilbert Burns. And the stakes couldn’t have been any higher.
Masvidal was coming off the back of three consecutive losses to Kamaru Usman (twice) and bitter friend-turned-enemy Colby Covington. A victory would have catapulted him back into the title picture, while defeat leaves him high and dry in the middleweight division. Online sports betting odds provided by Bovada made the Miami native a huge underdog in his return, but he had delivered huge performances in the past when the stakes were at their highest.
Gamebred is one of the most exciting and dynamic fighters in the UFC. Now at the ripped old age of 38, he has been fighting professionally since 2003 and has amassed a record of 35 wins and 16 losses. In honor of his long-awaited return to the cage, let’s take a look at Jorge Masvidal’s greatest UFC victories.
In March 2019, Masvidal fought home favorite Darren Till in London, England. Till was considered one of the top up-and-coming fighters in the UFC and was a heavy favorite to win the fight. However, Masvidal had other plans.
Despite being dropped hard early on, the underdog was able to knock Till out with a huge left hook in the second round. Masvidal’s victory over Till showed that he was not a fighter to be underestimated, and it proved that he had what it took to compete with the top fighters in the UFC, despite entering the twilight of his career. And that wasn’t the only scrap he got in that night.
During a backstage interview with Megan Olivi, Masvidal was on the receiving end of some trash talk from another British fighter in the form of the current UFC Welterweight Champion, Leon Edwards. Rather than shouting back at the brash Brit, Gamebred took matters into his own hands, hitting the Birmingham native with a “three-piece and a soda,” as it has become affectionately known.
Following his huge victory over Darren Till, Masvidal’s stock rocketed, and he was propelled into a highly anticipated bout with elite wrestler Ben Askren. ‘Funky’ was the long-reigning ONE Fighting Championship welterweight champion, and he was undefeated heading into the bout against Masvidal. The trash talk between the pair prior to the bout was off the charts, and fans were salivating at the prospect of the duo finally squaring off.
But the bout was over in the blink of an eye. Masvidal scored the fastest knockouts in UFC history when he immediately ran across the Octagon and landed a flying knee right to the head of Askren. The impact of the shot was so severe that the former ONE champion was at once knocked out, with Masvidal landing two more shots on his downed opponent before the referee could jump in.
The knockout of Askren instantly went viral and was replayed on sports channels around the world. This victory was a huge moment for Masvidal, as he had been in the UFC for many years and was considered a veteran by many, and he had finally earned the recognition that he deserved.
Masvidal’s reward for his victory over Askren was just around the corner. Following Nate Diaz’s impressive return to the Octagon and victory over Anthony Pettis in August 2019, Stockton’s Favorite Son immediately called out Masvidal.
In one of the best callouts of all time, Diaz said: “Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight, all respect to the man, there aren’t no gangsters in the game anymore, there aren’t nobody that does it right except me and him. I know my man is a gangster, but he isn’t no west coast gangster.” Fans inside the Honda Center in Anaheim went nuts.
In November 2019, the pair would face off in a mouth-watering clash inside Madison Square Garden at UFC 244 in one of the highest-grossing UFC pay-per-views of all time. In the bout itself, Masvidal defeated Diaz in what was one of the most highly expected fights of the year. He was able to dominate his opponent from the beginning of the fight with his superior striking ability.
Throughout the bout, he landed over 200 strikes on Diaz and cut him wide open, causing the fight to be stopped after the third round due to a doctor’s stoppage, much to the displeasure of everyone in attendance. Masvidal was awarded the BMF (baddest motherf****r) belt for his victory, a title that was presented to him in spectacular fashion by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, making the victory feel every bit as important as it was.