If you’re a harcore MMA fan, chances are you like Jorge Masvidal. He’s one of those sadistic fighters that not only like to hit, but get hit. If you knock him down, he’s right back in your face, if you take him to the brink, he’s thirsty for more – the man loves to scrap. Unfortunately for these “every man” fighters, this business involves more that just heart. Dropping two close fights via split decision and never really breaking into the creme de’ la creme of the UFC, it seems Masvidal is back with a chip on his shoulder and he says Donald Cerrone is part of the problem.
If you didn’t know, Masvidal and Cerrone are set to clash this saturday as the co-main event of the Shevchenko vs. Pena card at UFC, Denver. While both fighters have the “fight first, title later” mindset, Cerrone has definitely had more of a smooth ride and Masvidal feels part of that cushy lifestyle was made off of his back.
“I’ve had signed bout agreements to fight another top-ranked opponent – it’s happened to me four times – but out of the four, two of them he was the reason why I didn’t get to fight those ranked opponents,”
“Whether he knew or not, somebody’s got to pay with interest for what was done with me, and it’s going to be ‘Cowboy”. -Jorge Masvidal
The two fighter’s he’s referring to are Bobby Greene at UFC 178 and most recently Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 205.
To be fair his bad luck started long before Cerrone, dropping two controversial split decisions to Al Iaquinta and former lightweight champion Ben Henderson. But perhaps it’s not bad luck, perhaps it’s the underdog attitude that got him here that is now proving self sabotaging. Self described as one of the meanest fighters to ever step into an ATT gym, it seems Masvidal’s underdog attitude started long before there was an octagon – back in the mean streets of Miami Florida.
“I was like 7 or 8 when I found out and I realized there was something about me that was a little bit different to everybody else,” Masvidal said. ”I remember walking home from school with my bike and these kids try to take my bike from me, I think was like 9 or 8-years-old and these dudes were in like their teenage years like 13 or 14. They tried to take my bike, but guess what happened? I went home with my bike.
“I wasn’t even training at the time. It was just the environment laced with my meanness. I can tell you nobody was going to say s*it to me man.”
While you’ve got to respect the attitude that got you here, at a certain point you’re going to have to evolve. Masvidal has all the skills, toughness, and work ethic it takes to be a world champion, he just has to fix wants in between his ears. His fight with media darling Donald Cerrone is the perfect opportunity for Masvidal to turn himself from an underdog to a top dog. Will he capitalize?
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Lionel Harris-Spence is a writer, filmmaker, and functioning alcoholic. You can catch him screaming obscenities at flat screens on fight night.