Jorge Masvidal made waves with his five-second, record-setting knockout of former undefeated ONE Championship and Bellator titleholder Ben Askren at UFC 239 recently. He of course wants to fight for the title, but is just as content to make even bigger waves – and likely a bigger paycheck – by breaking Conor McGregor.
McGregor has been uncharacteristically quiet recently, waiting in the wings as fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier, and Tony Ferguson play out the UFC lightweight championship scenario. Masvidal isn't prepared to sit back and wait as his division's champion isn't quite ready to return to the Octagon yet.
UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman isn't expected to be ready to fight until at least November, and that's a bit too long for Masvidal to wait. So he's more than ready to try and lure the Irishman, who has also fought at welterweight, back to the cage.
“Definitely the title, definitely Kamaru Usman interests me. He’s got the title and that’s what I want, but he’s always having injuries and things are happening,” Masvidal said during an interview on “The Dan LeBatard Show” on Thursday.
“Another guy that interests me because it’s just a fight that if we made it, it’s going to sell a lot and I’m going to get the money that I deserve," he continued.
“I want McGregor. I want to break his face. I think that’s an easy paycheck. He’s got these cash symbols written all over his face for me. I just don’t see it going his way if I’m honest with you.”
After becoming the UFC's first champ-champ by defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November 2016, McGregor has since been a scarce presence in the Octagon. Though he won a second title by defeating Alvarez, McGregor was eventually forced to relinquish both the featherweight and lightweight titles as he went on a quest for a blockbuster boxing payday with Floyd Mayweather and failed to defend either belt for far longer than the UFC found acceptable.
Following his loss to Mayweather in August 2017, McGregor has returned only once to the Octagon, fighting and losing to Nurmagomedov in the UFC 229 main event in October 2018. He had to serve a six-month suspension for his part in a post-fight brawl at UFC 229, but has been eligible to return since April. Still, he sits and waits.
Masvidal is now trying to lure him out of the shadows.
“(McGregor) backs down. He taps. I’ve never tapped in my whole entire career,” Masvidal said of McGregor. “He’s tapped a couple times, so that’s backing down in my book. It’s something I’ve never done and I feel like I’d break him. It would be an easy fight.
“I think Conor’s a bigger check, so I wouldn’t mind Conor. I want to put money away in the bank.”
Though he's only on a two-fight winning streak, Masvidal is riding a career high right now. He's stayed in contention at the top of the UFC welterweight division, and coming off of his stunning performance against Askren, he's in the catbird seat when it comes to his next step.
It appears he's either going to get a shot at Usman and the belt or an opportunity to shoot his stock through the roof.
Dana White believes Jorge Masvidal would be fighting, even if illegally, if he wasn't in the UFC
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