If you’re a fight fan it might seem that you’ve heard the name Jorge Masvidal for ages; it’s simply because you have, he’s been around since his teenage years. Jorge started his fight career in the streets with the likes of Kevin ‘Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson, the one-time YouTube sensation, getting paid to fight whoever was willing in unsanctioned combat.
From handheld video cameras to the oft shaky lens of regional promotions, Masvidal slowly gained fans and earned the respect of MMA’s more prominent promotion, Bellator, for delivering exciting fights that mostly ended with his opponents unconscious.
In the spring of 2009 Masvidal entered Bellator’s Lightweight Tournament, winning his first fight by knockout in the first round. Masvidal made it to the semi-finals before succumbing to an inverted triangle choke from Toby Imada.
Jorge primarily fought in the lightweight division but also accepted fights at a heavier catch-weight or at welterweight. After parting with Bellator, Masvidal moved to Shark Fights for a welterweight bout and then on to Strikeforce’s lightweight division.
Masvidal remained in the lightweight division during the acquisition of Strikeforce by The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). After a period of inactivity due to injury, by both Jorge and his scheduled opponents, the UFC booked Masvidal to face former UFC Champion Benson Henderson in a lightweight fight at UFC Fight Night on April 4th, 2015.
The fight fell apart when Henderson was pulled from the bout in order to replace an injured fighter in the main event of the evening. Masvidal accepted Al Iaquinta as a replacement opponent and remained on the card. Jorge would lose that fight by decision, a decision that was highly criticized by mixed martial arts media outlets and fans alike. This would be the last lightweight fight of Masvidal’s career.
JM: I’m going to give up size and strength to a couple of guys, but fuck it. I wanted to move up after the James Krause fight in Las Vegas.
Do you have any regrets going up to welterweight (170lbs) from lightweight (155lbs)? There were some fighters you didn’t get along with at 155lbs or that you were campaigning to fight.
Unless they come up a weight class after the IV ban, its pretty much a wrap. For example, Bobby Green; you’d never be able to fight him. Would you ever cut down again for a grudge match?
JM: Shit, I don’t dislike Bobby that much (laughing). Hell no! Cut all that weight? But if Bobby wanted to meet me at 165lbs or 160lbs, I’d definitely cut down for that and we’d have some fun.
Additional content by Melinda Evette is available at MMA Cocktail