Even without an official UFC title around his waist, Jorge Masvidal feels he is the centerpiece of the UFC’s welterweight division.
Masvidal had a breakout year in 2019, putting up a case for Fighter of the Year. After knocking out Darren Till in the second round of their UFC London main event in March, Masvidal scored the fastest knockout in UFC history when he defeated Ben Askren at UFC 239. He then became just the third man to finish Nate Diaz at UFC 244, winning the BMF title in the process.
After the success Masvidal has had this year, there were voices in the MMA community, including the owner of American Top Team, Dan Lambert, who felt Masvidal should try for a money fight against someone like Nick Diaz or Conor McGregor — rather than challenge the winner of the Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington UFC 245 welterweight title bout.
As it turns out, Masvidal agrees with his training camp owner’s philosophy. He is focused on getting paid right now than owning a title.
“[Usman and Covington are] fighting for the spot to fight me,” Masvidal told Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole in a video interview. “I’m the ticket at 170 pounds. I’m going to go and get the biggest, best and toughest fights. So, it’s looking like we might fight Nick Diaz next, it’s looking like it might be Conor McGregor. Obviously, those fights come first because of the paycheck and everything it brings while these guys are settling the dust between the hugging championships.”
The elder Diaz brother has already expressed interest in fighting Masvidal as the result of “Gamebred” defeating Nate Diaz via doctor’s stoppage after three rounds in their UFC 244 main event. Coincidentally enough, Masvidal’s fight with Till came as the result of the failure of a planned fight between Nick Diaz and Masvidal for UFC 235.
If a fight between Nick Diaz and Masvidal comes to fruition, it would be the elder Diaz’s first MMA fight since losing to Anderson Silva in January 2015. Masvidal feels he is the guy that can bring him out of his hiatus.
“That hypes me up to want to fight,” Masvidal said. “Like let’s [expletive] do this cause you’re not taking nothing what I’ve got. You’re knocking at my front door and you ain’t getting in here. I’m going to stop you right where you stand. That’s how I feel.
If he’s serious about it, he signs the paperwork and the UFC matches my handsome fees, we’re in there, we’re here to take souls.
As this interview took place, and was uploaded, prior to the announcement of McGregor’s fight with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Masvidal said he felt McGregor didn’t want anything to do with him. In fact, UFC President Dana White has previously rejected this matchup, stating Masvidal is too big physically for the Irish star.
With McGregor vs. Cerrone at welterweight, however, a rumor has circulated this could be McGregor trying to send a message and prove he wants, and can compete with, “Gamebred.”
“Dana be having a lot of ideas all on his own,” Masvidal said. “I don’t know what got him to change but the truth is that boy’s going to get hurt if they lock him in there with me.”
Quotes via MMA Fighting