What’s Next For Jorge Masvidal Following UFC 251 Loss?
This past weekend at UFC 251, Jorge Masvidal came into his fight with UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman on ten day’s notice. He earned praise for his willingness to fight and how he was able to go five rounds with the champion. Masvidal believes with his status he’s done enough to warrant a rematch.
Speaking with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Masvidal (35-14) discussed that his next fight should be for the title.
“I want that damn belt, and I’m stubborn,” Masvidal stated. “And I know I’m better than Usman, and I want to prove it. I want to fight again. I’m not going to take nothing from him; he won the first one. Let’s do it again.”
In Abu Dhabi on Yas Island, Masvidal lost to Usman via unanimous decision. Usman outworked him from the get-go, using his wrestling ability to grapple Masvidal down several times. After showing signs of brilliance in round one, Masvidal looked tired. The lack of preparation and the 20-pound weight cut might have been a factor.
The PPV reportedly generated over 1.3 million PPV buys. UFC President Dana White praised Masvidal for helping out with the numbers, stating he is a true star. The next steps for Masvidal, with a win or a loss, might have been to face Conor McGregor. After signing a new deal with the UFC before UFC 251, however, one that might have earned him PPV points, Masvidal is content with not competing in a money fight like that.
“You can tell me that McGregor right now would make X, Y, Z dollars, the biggest pay-per-view you get in history, right, and I’m going to get paid forever,” Masvidal went on to say. “I feel I’m getting compensated well enough now that if I keep making the right decisions I’ve been doing, this money is forever money. So it’s not about money.”
Masvidal’s career started in 2003. The loss ended a three-fight win streak and he is now 6-3 in his last nine fights. A highlight of his run has been cementing the record of the fastest KO in UFC history against Ben Askren. His overall persona has screamed superstar, and the UFC is enamored with the fact that he can back it up.
The 35-year-old ended up replacing Gilbert Burns, who tested positive for COVID-19 to start July 4 weekend. White stated that Burns would get a title shot after UFC 251, but there is also the idea going around that Leon Edwards should get a shot at the belt. Already earning his pay, Masvidal believes a rematch, with proper time to prepare, would help Usman’s wallet as well.
“We’ll talk to [the UFC],” Masvidal stated. “I’m sure Usman would be on board because this is the most money he’s made.
“So if he wants to make that big-boy money again, gotta run it back, come on, let’s go. So in business that makes sense. I don’t know what his management is thinking or what he’s thinking, but obviously that’s what I want to do.”