Masvidal on UFC return timetable: “Hopefully December or November”

Arguably the biggest star in the UFC right now has laid out the timeline for him to return to the octagon. Last night, the BMF Jorge Masvidal (35-14) took on cornhole pro, Cody Henderson, on ESPN.

Following the cornhole grudge match, Masvidal was asked about his UFC return by ESPN. Masvidal replied, “Hopefully, December or November… My opponent has a broken nose.. due to me…he’s going to be out for a couple days… I think next week we’re going to find out just how long he’s out for and then we’ll start determining who will be the next fight and where”

Who will the UFC have face the BMF?

Masvidal is clearly talking about welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, in that interview. Masvidal lost a decision to Usman back at UFC 251. Gamebred took the fight on one week’s notice.

Masvidal looked fantastic in the first round, but it became apparent that he didn’t have the gas tank to deal with Usman’s style. Usman was able to implement his game plan and win the fight.

The fight did massively well selling 1.3 million PPV buys. The UFC could no longer deny the fact that Masvidal had become a huge star. However, Dana White has said multiple times that Gilbert Burns will be next for the champion.

With that, who will Masvidal fight? Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley are scheduled to fight at some point in the next couple of months which takes them off the table.

The only opponent that would make sense from a rankings perspective is either Leon Edwards or Stephen Thompson. Masvidal has said that he’d love to get the Wonderboy fight back after losing a decision in their first fight.

Of course, Edwards and Masvidal do have history. They got into a backstage scuffle after the UFC‘s BMF knocked out Darren Till in London. I would think the UFC would lean towards Edwards for Masvidal’s next fight.

Either way, it looks like we have a general timeline for the return of Gamebred. What do you think? Who do you think Masvidal should fight upon his return to the octagon?

UFC: Jorge Masvidal wants rematch with Usman more than anything

Arguably the UFC‘s biggest star has only one fight in mind whenever he makes his return to the octagon. Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show to give his thoughts.

Would the UFC run it back?

There is no question that Masvidal is the sport’s biggest star right now. Because of him, UFC 251 generated a whopping 1.3 million PPV buys.

Masvidal did come up short against UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman (17-1), after taking the fight on six days notice. Masvidal looked really good early, but Usman’s pressure and wrestling gave him the victory.

Masvidal told Helwani that he believes he has the recipe to beat Usman. Many, including myself, thought the UFC would try to book Masvidal with Conor McGregor if Gamebred won the fight on Saturday.

A fight between those two would probably be the biggest fight of all time from a PPV perspective. Masvidal’s stock didn’t go down at all from the loss, in fact, it might have gone up.

As you can see in the video above, Masvidal was asked about a shot at McGregor. Gamebred has no interest in anyone but Kamaru Usman at this point.

You can hardly blame the man for wanting another shot at the title. Now, I think the UFC is going to stick to their guns by giving Gilbert Burns the next shot at the title. I personally think the UFC should book Masvidal with Colby Covington (15-2).

The fight makes perfect sense for both men. Both have a ton of heat between the two of them, and both are coming off of losses against the champion. A win for either puts them first in line for another shot.

The UFC could also look at booking Masvidal with Leon Edwards (18-3). That fight could sell well as they have history that involves a three piece and a soda. You can catch Masvidal’s full interview with Helwani below.

UFC 251 Preview: Jorge Masvidal looks to dethrone Kamaru Usman

This Saturday night, the UFC makes it’s long anticipated debut on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. The UFC is coming out swinging with a massive PPV card that features three title fights. The main event features a welterweight title contest between the champ, Kamaru Usman (16-1), and the BMF himself, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (35-13). Two additional title fights and a stacked card make this arguably the most anticipated UFC PPV of the year. Let’s dive into the main card and preview Saturday night’s action.

Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal

The main event of the evening might be the most anticipated matchup of 2020. A fight that came together in six days after it was planned for the entire year. For the UFC‘s BMF, Jorge Masvidal, Saturday night is the culmination of his meteoric rise to stardom since the beginning of 2019. Gamebred was always considered a good fighter, but the former backyard brawler became elite in the last year and a half. 

Masvidal is extremely well-rounded, but shines when the fight is on the feet. Masvidal possesses arguably the best boxing in the UFC‘s welterweight division. He also has ruthless body kicks which he throws everything into. He’s coming into Saturday on a three fight winning streak that features two highlight reel knockouts over Darren Till and Ben Askren.

Standing across from Masvidal is the UFC welterweight champion, Usman. The Nigerian Nightmare hasn’t lost in seven years, and he’s dominated virtually every opponent he’s had since. Usman has incredible wrestling and cardio which allows him to put on an incredible pace. In his last title defense against Colby Covington, Usman also showed that he can do some serious damage on his feet.

This fight is pretty easy to preview when you think about it. Masvidal wants to keep the fight standing while Usman wants to take it to the ground. While Usman showed improved striking, he has no chance to win a stand-up fight with Gamebred. I think you’ll see Usman test the waters on the feet, but ultimately look to take the fight to the ground. If Masvidal can keep the fight standing, he can finish this fight, but I don’t think he’ll be able to over five rounds. I think Masvidal is going to find some success early, but I think as the fight goes on, Usman will be able to impose his will. I don’t see Usman getting a finish, but I think his full training camp and wrestling will give him the nod here.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman by Unanimous Decision

Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway

A rematch months in the making occurs in the co-main event as former UFC featherweight champion, Max Holloway (21-5), looks to regain his title against champion, Alexander Volkanovski (21-1). Since 2017, you can make the argument that Volkanovski has been the best fighter in the UFC. He’s gone 7-0 with almost nobody giving him trouble inside the octagon.

Volkanovski is a former rugby player who at one point weighed above the light heavyweight limit and carries an extreme amount of power. Volkanovski combines that power with great accuracy and a high level Fight-IQ. He used both of those things to out-point Holloway back at UFC 245. He used his leg kicks and explosive speed to fluster the former champion. Many people have dubbed Holloway as the greatest featherweight ever. However, if Volkanovski is able to win, he’ll hold a win over Jose Aldo and two wins over Holloway which would arguably make him the best featherweight ever.

A year and a half ago, Max Holloway looked invincible. After losing to Conor McGregor in 2013, Holloway rattled off 13 consecutive wins including two over former featherweight king, Jose Aldo. Holloway is as tough as they come, and he’s a sniper on the feet. Holloway’s precision striking is what carried him to the title. However, the last three fights have shown a vulnerable Holloway.

Holloway has gone 1-2 in his last three fights losing to Volkanovski and Dustin Poirier. In those fights, Holloway struggled to be first. He seemed to be fighting more off of his backfoot which gave him issues. For Holloway to be successful against Volkanovski, he has to be more aggressive in this fight. If he sits back too much, he’s going to lose another decision.

This fight is going to be razor close. I will not be shocked by whoever wins in this one. Both men will have their moments, but I’m not hopping off the Blessed Express just yet. I think Volkanovski will have big moments in the fight, but I expect to see a much more aggressive Max Holloway. I think Holloway’s aggressive but precise attack will be just enough to get a close decision in this one. However, if he doesn’t go first in this one, expect Volkanovski to keep the title.

Prediction: Max Holloway by Split Decision

Petr Yan vs Jose Aldo

The first of three title fights features former featherweight king, Jose Aldo (28-6), and Russian star, Petr Yan (14-1). For Aldo, you might be looking at his last chance at UFC gold. The former champ hasn’t been the same guy that was once ranked as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world just a few years ago. Aldo is coming into this fight on a two-fight losing streak, although most people believe he won his last fight.

When he’s on, Aldo has elite all-around skills. Aldo is incredibly fast and powerful with his striking. He’s also got some of the best takedown defense in the sport. Aldo is at his best when he immediately is aggressive. His best chance in this fight is to come at Yan fast and hard.

For Petr Yan, he’s looking to become the UFC‘s second Russian champion alongside Khabib Nurmagomedov. Since joining the UFC back in 2018, Yan has looked sensational. Yan does not have a weakness in his game. He’s got good grappling and elite striking. He might have the cleanest boxing and the most power out of anyone in the bantamweight division.

That power was on full display in his last fight against Urijah Faber at UFC 245. “No Mercy” completely dismantled the hall of famer, dropping him multiple times. Yan picked up the third round knockout in that one. Yan is the type of fighter who will likely take the first round to gauge Aldo’s gameplan. Look for Yan to really start getting aggressive towards the end of round one or early round two.

I think this fight is going to play out a lot like Max Holloway-Jose Aldo 1. I think Aldo is going to find some good success early being aggressive. However, as the fight goes on, I think Yan is going to start taking over. By the third round, I think Yan is going to find his groove and he’s going to land something that hurts Aldo bad. Yan will follow-up heavy and get the stoppage setting up the anticipated fight with Aljamain Sterling.

Prediction: Petr Yan by TKO – Round 3

Rose Namajunas vs Jessica Andrade

The second fight on the main card features a strawweight rematch between former champions Rose Namajunas (8-4) and Jessica Andrade (20-7). These two ladies met just over a year ago at UFC 237 and Andrade took that fight by a knockout slam. Andrade is one of the most powerful women in the world at 115 pounds. Andrade has crazy power, good leg kicks, and slams that can knock anybody out.

In this fight, Andrade is going to have to utilize her leg kicks early. In the first fight, Namajunas was having her way with the stand-up. Andrade started finding some success when attacking Namajunas’ legs. Andrade cannot be too patient or she could get touched up early and often by “Thug” Rose.

Namajunas was a budding star in 2019, but she was facing some serious demons. The weight of being UFC champion was a lot on her shoulders. When she lost the title, she looked more relieved than anything else. She admittedly said she wasn’t sure she was going to fight again after she lost the title.

However, recently Namajunas found the love for the sport again. Namajunas has elite footwork for the division. Her striking is quick and precise thanks to her training with Trevor Wittman and Pat Berry. Namajunas was controlling the first fight before she was caught up in that slam. If she doesn’t get slammed, it’s hard to imagine Andrade winning that fight.

In all transparency, it’s hard for me to see Andrade winning this fight unless she gets a flukey knockout. I think Namajunas is so much better on the feet and she’s much faster. I think she’s going to put on a clinic at UFC 251 which will setup a title fight with Weili Zhang down the line.

Prediction: Rose Namajunas by Unanimous Decision

Amanda Ribas vs Paige VanZant

The opening fight of the main card also features the most lopsided odds as Amanda Ribas (9-1) takes on Paige VanZant (8-4). Ribas comes into this fight as a -900 favorite on most betting lines. The Brazilian has a very impressive overall game and she’s been dominant since joining the UFC with wins over Mackenzie Dern and Randa Markos. Ribas has good striking, and she’s very good on the ground. She’s being touted as a potential title contender down the road.

VanZant is on the last fight of her current UFC deal. She burst onto the scene back in 2014 as the next big-time female UFC star. She’s extremely marketable, but she’s struggled against top competition. VanZant has a solid overall game, but against top-tier UFC fighters, she hasn’t found success. She has a 5-3 record in the octagon, but all three of those losses were against top-ten opponents. While VanZant has shown flashes, I’m struggling to see her having much success in this one.

I think this is a brilliant booking decision by the UFC. Ribas has the potential to become a very popular strawweight, and they’ve pitted her against a well-known fighter that is clearly inferior. I think Ribas will control this fight from the opening bell to the end of the fight. I think this will be the last time that we see VanZant inside the octagon.

Prediction: Amanda Ribas by Unanimous Decision

UFC 251 Outlook

UFC 251 is going to be absolutely insane. The card is stacked with so many interesting fights and story lines. I do not think that the fans are going to be disappointed with this card. The UFC is about to kickoff a furious stretch where they have four fight cards in the span of two weeks. Buckle up fight fans, because it’s going to be a fun ride on Fight Island.

UFC: Colby Covington tells Dana White he’ll “Take care of Street Judas Masvidal”

UFC, Colby Covington

Former UFC interim welterweight champion, Colby Covington (15-2), isn’t shy about calling out anyone in the UFC. Covington has made a name for himself over the last few years as someone who talks a lot of trash, but he goes in and backs it up. Covington was recently interviewed by BJPenn.com and he was very open about calling out another top welterweight.

“I know Dana’s having a dispute with ‘Street Judas’ Masvidal right now… Hey Dana, you know who to call. Call me, bro. I’ll finish ‘Street Judas’ off. I’ll send that dude to the morgue, he won’t ever fight again. He’s got the BMF title but that’s not even a real title, it’s a participation trophy. He’s really got the SMF title right now. The saddest motherfcker, or the scaredest motherfcker. It wasn’t a money issue, it was a scared issue.”

The trouble between Masvidal and the UFC

It’s been no secret that the UFC has been having trouble with the BMF, Jorge Masvidal (35-13). Masvidal was originally slated to fight Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title next week, but he’s been in a public dispute with the company regarding revenue sharing. Gilbert Burns was able to get the title shot due to the failed negotiations.

Now, Masvidal is sitting on the sidelines with no opponent. Recently, I wrote about a few possible fights for Masvidal as he sits on the sidelines. The fight that makes the most sense for the division is Covington. The two men were once as close as brothers, but they have turned bitter rivals. Both taking every chance they get to throw shade at the other.

The Perfect Matchup

After Covington lost his title fight to Usman in December, he has yet to find an opponent. Masvidal is looking to fight someone who will generate a nice payday for him. This sets up perfectly for the two of them. Masvidal/Covington would be a big fight that the UFC could make for later in the summer. If the fight were to take place, it would setup the winner to fight the winner of the July title fight between Usman and Burns.

The more personal a fight is, the more it sells. Masvidal has developed into a star over the last year, and you know that Covington knows how to sell a fight. Not sure if the fight will actually come together, but it would solve a lot of problems that are currently going on in that division. I believe the UFC is going to figure everything out, but this would be a great place to start.

UFC: Jorge Masvidal is expecting to fight in 2020

The MMA world is wondering what is next for the UFC‘s BMF. Jorge Masvidal has been sitting on the sidelines since last November after winning the BMF title at UFC 244 capping off his incredible 2019. He was originally scheduled to fight for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 251, but contract negotiations saw the fight get scrapped. Earlier this week, I wrote about what could be next for Masvidal. However, I stated in that article that the one question that is still unanswered is whether or not Gamebred will fight this year. He took to his YouTube page to give his answer on the question.

UFC’s BMF is planning on a fight in 2020

Masvidal stated that he is fully planning on fighting at some point this year. In his video, he talks about the fact that his management team has come up with a formula for what he’s worth, and he won’t fight for less. The UFC has been keeping the show rolling with fights almost every week since early May. However, Masvidal has expressed his frustrations with the UFC‘s lack of interest in giving him the money he deserves to fight for the title. The offer that was on the table to fight Kamaru Usman for the title was not enough which is why Gilbert Burns is fighting on July 11th and not Masvidal

Gamebred responds to Dana White

In another video, Masvidal talked about UFC president, Dana White. He talked about how White’s job is to make the most money for the UFC while Masvidal’s job is to make the most money for himself. With that in mind, the two, “Won’t always see eye to eye.” Masvidal sounded more optimistic about fighting in these videos than his tweets over the past few weeks. I think the two sides are still far away from any form of an agreement, but I do think one will come together. The UFC has shown over the years that they can strike a deal with the most difficult fighters. The Diaz brothers and Tito Ortiz are prime examples. I think the two sides will meet in the middle, and we will see Gamebred near the end of 2020 perhaps getting the winner of Usman/Burns.

UFC: What is next for Jorge Masvidal?

A couple of months ago, this was an easy question to answer. Jorge Masvidal (35-13) was going to be fighting for the UFC welterweight title in his next fight. “Gamebred” won fighter of the year in 2019 after knocking out top welterweights Darren Till and Ben Askren. Masvidal capped his year off with beating Nate Diaz for the BMF title back in November. All that was left was for Masvidal to fight Kamaru Usman for the title. However, due to failed negotiations we have seen the title shot go to Gilbert Burns. Now that the title shot is gone, what is next for the BMF? Let’s take a look at four realistic options for Jorge Masvidal’s next fight.

Colby Covington

This fight would have the most personal heat, and it’s the fight that probably makes the most sense from a rankings perspective. Former teammates and roommates turned bitter rivals. A fight between Masvidal and Colby Covington (15-2) makes all the sense in the world. Masvidal has been wanting to get paid more for his next fight. A fight with Covington would be a big money maker. Love him or hate him, Colby Covington has turned into must see TV. After reinventing himself a couple of years ago, he has blown up in popularity.

The two men were once closer than brothers if you just take a look at their Instagram accounts from a few years ago. They were both constantly talking about taking over the UFC‘s welterweight division together. Fast forward to now, and both men cannot stop insulting each other in public whenever the other is mentioned. Covington has left American Top Team due to all of the tension that was in the gym. Whether it was a shoot or reality, the heat has seemingly become real between the two. This fight would be a massive seller for the UFC. A fight between Covington and Masvidal would also give a clear number one contender to challenge the winner of the Usman/Burns fight in July.

Nate Diaz

When everything started to go south with the title negotiations, Masvidal turned his attention to Nate Diaz (20-12) with one tweet.

This tweet caught a lot of people off guard considering the fact that everyone was assuming that Usman/Masvidal was opening. Of course we all learned how the negotiations went, and now Masvidal is left without a dance partner. Well, the November BMF title fight left a lot to be desired. Not because of the fight itself, but because of how the fight ended. The fight was getting ready to head into the championship rounds when a ringside doctor called it off due to a cut.

Diaz had some really good moments in the third after Masvidal had dominated most of the fight. Masvidal made more money against Diaz than he was offered to fight Usman. Well, how about running back the BMF title fight as Masvidal suggested? Have to think that the UFC would pony up a little more money considering the star that Nate Diaz is. This would give Masvidal a fight, and it would give the fans a proper conclusion to the BMF title fight that they were robbed of in November.

Winner of Usman/Burns

Probably the easiest thing for Masvidal to do at this point is wait. Kamaru Usman (16-1) and Gilbert Burns (19-3) are fighting in a couple of weeks for the UFC welterweight title. Masvidal can sit on the sidelines while these two go at it. After the fight is over, Masvidal can go back to the UFC to negotiate fighting the winner. The UFC supposedly made a last minute effort to try to get Masvidal to fight Usman on July 11th, but the money just never worked for Gamebred. After all of this fuss, maybe a second round of negotiations after July 11th will go smoother. In an ideal world, Usman would beat Burns on July 11th, and the UFC would move right back to try to book Usman/Masvidal. Realistically, I think this will be the first option considering the fight is just weeks away.

Conor McGregor

Red panty night anyone? Masvidal wants to get paid, and Conor McGregor (22-4) just wants to fight. McGregor “retired” due to the frustrations he had with the UFC for not giving him a fight. Masvidal passed up a title fight due to his frustrations with pay. Do you see where I’m going with this? A fight with Masvidal and McGregor is a win-win for everyone. Masvidal would get the paycheck that he’s searching for. McGregor would get an opponent who would stand and trade with him, and the UFC would hit it out of the park with a massive PPV. I mean imagine a fight with McGregor and Masvidal with no fans. You could hear every word that the two would say to each other. The McGregor fight is one that Masvidal has wanted for a while, and it’s a fight that makes sense for both men. For Conor, he could lose the fight, but not lose ground in the lightweight division. It’s a fight that makes a lot of sense, but I’m not confident the UFC will move to book it.

What does the UFC do?

It’s crazy, but the two biggest fights in terms of PPV money are the two least likely from the UFC‘s perspective. I just don’t see the UFC pushing to make the McGregor or the Diaz fight for Masvidal. My guess is that they will wait to see how July 11th goes. If Usman gets through Gilbert Burns, I think they start up the talks again to have Masvidal fight Usman for the title in the fall. If that fight doesn’t materialize the UFC could pivot to try and booking Masvidal with Covington. However, a roadblock there could be the UFC trying to book the rematch between Usman and Covington. I respect Masvidal for sticking to his guns, but if he gets another chance at Usman, I really hope he doesn’t pass it up. I don’t think the UFC will give him the money fights he’s looking for, so if he doesn’t get the title shot, who knows what’ll happen to him. Gamebred soared to stardom last year, and it is crazy to think that there’s a possibility that the 2019 fighter of the year will not fight in 2020.

UFC: Jorge Masvidal Wants Answers from UFC after failed negotiations

One of the UFC’s brightest stars is asking for some answers from his employer. Jorge Masvidal became a huge star during 2019 after he knocked out Darren Till, Ben Askren, and won the BMF title against Nate Diaz back at UFC 244. Masvidal’s huge year made him the number one contender in line to fight the winner of the Kamaru Usman/Colby Covington fight back in December. Usman went on to win that fight which would setup the big title fight with Masvidal. All year long, this fight was anticipated to headline the UFC‘s big July PPV. Even after the pandemic hit, the UFC seemed to be pushing to book this fight for July 11th. Those talks have come to a screeching halt.

There seemed to be some back and forth going on with negotiating the finances for the fight. Masvidal said in an interview with ESPN’s Kenny Mayne that when the Jon Jones situation was going on, he started taking a look at the holdup in his own negotiations. Masvidal stated that the UFC decided to pull his offer off the table, and offer the title fight to another fighter for a lot less money. He said that the fighter is willing to take the fight which leaves him in a weird position. We can all assume that the fighter he’s talking about would be Gilbert Burns. This week, Dana White said that Burns would likely be next for the title after his win against Tyron Woodley.

Revenue Split

Masvidal mentions in his interview that most major sports in America have about a 50/50 revenue split between the owners and the athletes. He mentions that the deal that was being offered to him or the athletes was for about 18% of the revenue. Upon investigating the numbers further, Masvidal wants answers from the UFC, which is why negotiations have gone south quickly. White came out this week and said that they will not beg anyone to fight with everything going on. There are a lot of fighters who just want action, but the top draws are still wanting their money.

Where to go?

To be honest, I’m really not sure where we are going to go from here. Gambred has mentioned that if he doesn’t get compensated fairly, he would like to be released. Masvidal joins Jon Jones as the second fighter to ask for a release due to failed negotiations with UFC brass. White came out this week said this week that he was confident the UFC would work things out with Jones. They will likely get this figured out with Masvidal as well. It’s clear that some issues have come to the surface recently between the UFC and some of their top athletes when it comes to fighter pay. With everything going on, Burns is likely going to get the next shot at Usman which will leave Masvidal without an opponent. Maybe the UFC tries to book a fight with Gamebred and his former friend, Colby Covington. Honestly, that fight might sell more than Masvidal’s fight with Kamaru Usman. Time will tell, but you can catch Masvidal’s entire interview with Kenny Mayne below.