From The Streets To The Octagon: The Jorge Masvidal Story

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“You know who I am now, mother******?”, Jorge Masvidal asked Donald Cerrone after beating him to a pulp. He may as well have been asking the whole MMA universe this same question. Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal was not a huge name in the MMA world, or at least wasn’t before his stunning upset victory over ‘Cowboy’ (which The MMA India Show predicted). Lost in the ‘Cowboy at 170’ story, most analysts in the game believed Cowboy would breeze past Masvidal en route to a title shot. Not on my watch, probably though Masvidal, and went in and stopped Cowboy in the second round, after coming dangerously close to doing the same thing in the first. This was a coming out party for the ‘Gamebred’ fighter, who had been knocking at that glass ceiling for a long time.

As a kid, Masvidal had wanted to be a boxer. He started training at a very young age and then he discovered Wresting. He had two passions in life” Boxing and Wrestling. He couldn’t pursue the latter because of his poor grades in school. That was the end of his dream of competing as an amateur in Wrestling. Instead, he found MMA, which incorporated his two passions, and decided he was going to be a professional fighter.

“I knew since I was a kid at the age of 13 or 14 that I wanted to fight. I wanted to box, but I was also in love with wrestling. I wish I could have done both, but I realized I could only be competitive in one of them. Then MMA came along and I knew that was the one. “

As soon as he discovered MMA, he started training. And pro MMA wasn’t the only avenue he explored, jumping into the growing South Miami street fighting scene. That’s how he got called one afternoon in 2004, when he was 19, and told to get himself over to a laundromat parking lot. He was at McDonald’s at the time. He finished lunch, drove over, took off his shirt, and got into a fierce scrap with a Kimbo Slice protégé named Ray. Masvidal sliced up the much larger opponent and moved on, never thinking much of the fight. Little did he know that his two fights with Ray were on their way to racking up hundreds of thousands of views, on YouTube and elsewhere, making Masvidal a huge underground star.

Masvidal considered street fighting a joke; it was certainly not what he wanted to be known for. He kept working, coming up on the South Florida MMA scene before making a tour of the MMA business that left him joking that he should be the “poster boy for bankrupt promotions,” with stints in Bodog, Sengoku, Bellator in its infancy, and finally Strikeforce. By that time, he had already raked up an MMA record of 11 wins and two losses, with his most impressive wins being a TKO of then undefeated Joe Lauzon and a spectacular head kick KO of former top Lightweight Yves Edwards.

The shaky business side of these fledgling promotions meant that he had to go months without a fight and then would have to take fights on very short notices because he was desperate for money. These resulted in brutal weight cuts. After a couple of fights in Strikeforce, and few other fights in other regional promotions, Masvidal earned a shot at Gilbert Melendez’s Strikeforce Lightweight title but lost a unanimous decision. After Strikeforce went under, he finally debuted for the UFC, promptly raking up a two fight win streak with victories over respected fighters in Tim Means and Michael Chiesa. After losing his next fight, Masvidal won three in a row. When it looked like he had finally arrived, in every sense of the word, bad luck hit him as hard as his right hand would hit opponents. He lost three of his next four fights, all by split decisions, fights that he should have arguably won. People attributed his losses to him not being able to ‘Pull the Trigger’. Jorge himself has rejected these claims. He however admitted that he likes to play with his opponents like a cat would play with a mouse before hunting it. Whatever may the case be, Jorge realized this is dangerous to do inside the octagon. After all, these UFC fighters aren’t mice. They are all sharks, who will devour their opponents at the first sign of weakness.

Jorge rebounded after back to back losses with wins over respected veterans Ross Pearson and Jake Ellenberger. It was during this time that he hit another obstacle in his path: Opponents not wanting to fight him. Masvidal was supposed to fight Kelvin Gastelum on November 5, 2016 at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale but, Gastelum was removed from this fight and was added to the UFC 205 lineup to face Donald Cerrone, a fight that also fell out. Jorge was removed from the card and was given Ellenberger in December, a fight that he won with a beautiful performance. It was after this fight that he started to call out Donald Cerrone. Never the one to back down, Cowboy accepted the fight in his hometown of Denver, Colorado. What happened next was a star making performance for ‘Gamebred’. The fight was seen as high risk, low reward for Cowboy as Masvidal wasn’t even ranked in the top ten at the time. Masvidal probably came with great vengeance and furious anger and we knew, then and there, that his name is Jorge Masvidal when he laid his vengeance upon Donald Cerrone. He was almost Jules from Pulp Fiction, a bad mother******! So much so, that after the fight, he bet Dana $200K that nobody could beat him:

“Dana White, bring me somebody that can beat me. I got 200K You can’t find nobody that can beat me. Take me up on the bet Dana, all I got to say.” We believe you, Jorge.

Jorge has been calling out Demain Maia repeatedly since beating Cowboy (alongwith Magny). He claimed that Maia had turned the fight down. However, news broke yesterday, that this fight is being targeted for UFC 211, to be held on May 13th, 2017 and has now been confirmed. Looks like Jorge just got his wish. As dangerous as Maia is, nobody in their right minds can doubt Masvidal now. UFC 211 just became must see TV!

Jorge Masvidal is a simple God loving man, who feels he has been denied his opportunity for too long.

“The real is back. There is a lot of fake media out there, a lot of BS going on. I am a real fighter. I don’t take pictures on social media, that’s why my name aint out there, but I kick a**. If you like watching that kick ass (sic.), tune in. There’s a lot of dudes in this crowd that fight that when my name gets brought up, they end the call. I am a real fighter”, said Jorge in the post-fight interview. He has just one strategy when it comes to fighting: Beat their a**. “This is my division, my time now”, he recently told the MMA India Show.

Jorge Masvidal has shattered that glass ceiling and has brought the house down. Jorge Masvidal has finally arrived and he is here to stay.


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