Jorge Masvidal opened up the MMA flood gates earlier this week when he issued a challenge to former UFC champion Conor McGregor.
Masvidal, who is coming off a record-breaking, five-second knockout over the previously undefeated Ben Askren at UFC 239, took aim at “Notorious” in vicious fashion. “Gamebred” not only called a potential bout with McGregor “easy,” but went as far as saying he’d like to break the Irishman’s face.
While Masvidal’s callout of McGregor came without warning, it was understandable why the 34-year-old veteran did it. Masvidal is coming off one of the most spectacular Octagon performances of all time, currently owns back-to-back knockouts at 170 pounds, and knows pretty well how to stir shit up in the media. It was simply perfect timing.
Even though McGregor vs. Masvidal is in its infancy stage, the MMA world has already started to discuss the potential matchup. This includes UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, who detailed the fight during a recent episode of his podcast.
“That’s a rough fight for Conor,” Rogan began. “Masvidal is a big fella too. He really belongs at 170 [pounds], that’s where he’s fighting. He fought at 155, but really tortured himself to make that weight. He’s a big guy. You’re talking about a guy that knocked out ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, knocked out Darren Till, knocked out Ben Askren. I mean, he’s knocking out big welterweights — big. Darren Till is a big welterweight. He’s big. He’s not a guy coming up from 155 pounds. He’s never making 155 pounds.
“In the last few fights, [Masvidal] is coming into his own, really becoming something special.”
Masvidal, who entered UFC back in 2013, has never been more popular than he is now. The former YouTube street fighting sensation has produced memorable performances inside of the Octagon throughout his six-year UFC career, but nothing like what “Gamebred” has done over the past four months, having knocked out Darren Till in the first round and then Askren in just five seconds earlier this month.
“He’s become, in one fight, the most talked about fighter in the sport,” Rogan said of Masvidal. “Askren was undefeated. Masvidal comes out, flatlines him, and talks some pretty vicious shit after the fact.”
Masvidal can talk all the trash he wants in effort to try and goad McGregor into a fire fight, but “Notorious” is a retired man these days (for now). And if he does decide to return to the cage it will likely be for a rematch with current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who defeated McGregor last year via submission.
But, and there’s always a but when it comes to an unpredictable fighter like “Notorious,” McGregor does like to ride the hot hand and turn in the biggest fights the sport has to offer. Right now, a matchup with the red-hot Masvidal may be one of the biggest out there.