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Jorge Masvidal – from the streets to the top 5 of the UFC

MMA_Gateway_Jorge_Masvidal UFC Sreetfighter titleSome martial artists are not actually effective at fighting in live fire situations – there are many con artists and bravado games that goes into martial arts at all levels.

But some martial artists are true fighters as well, and look like they are almost bred for MMA – Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal is a name that springs to mind when I think of what a real fighter looks like – no fear of what can occur in combat, he steps into fire with a smile on his face, so calm, never afraid to throw, and does so with precision, technique and with solid power – his boxing is some of the best in MMA, he also has some excellent kickboxing, and an incredible chin.

It’s like you can’t shake fighters like Jorge Masvidal, because he is so battle tested with 43 MMA bouts, and countless kickboxing/street fights in his life. Its usually the opposite in most of Masvidal’s fights – he ends up making his opponent want to quit, by just being unrelenting and fearless in his approach, which can shake an opponent who gives him an inch anywhere.

He trains with one of the best fight teams around in American Top team, so he has many amazing training partners, like: Antonio Carlos Junior, Hector Lombard, Gleison Tibau, Colby Covington, Muhammad Lawal, Tyrone Woodley, Will Brooks, Yoel Romero and many others.

Jorge Masvidal smells blood in the water better then most fighters due to his experience, he has some amazing killer instinct when he sees his opponent hurt, and he’s also got some of the most underrated wrestling in MMA, which he mainly uses defensively in his fights because his striking is so good.

However, Jorge has said himself that he plans to show people more offensive wrestling in future bouts, and his ground game is solid as well. He is no Damian Maia on the ground, but he doesn’t need to be, because his defensive Jiu-Jitsu is great, and as he showed in his fight with Michael Chiesa, he can submit high level ground opponents –  it is more a situation that Jorge usually prefers to strike, but could win more bouts by submission if he wanted to – because his striking perfectly softens people up for the takedown and submission, so we may see more of that in the future from Gamebred – he currently has 2 submission victories in his 32 wins in professional MMA – his record currently stands at 32-11.

This is a great video to show Jorge Masvidals best career moments –

 


From the streets to the cage

Jorge was born on November 12, 1984 in Miami Florida, from Peruvian and Cuban lineage. He became involved in a a lot of street fighting from a young age, and really shot to street fighting and online fame when he beat Kimbo Slice’s protege at the time Ray when he was only 18.

Masvidal competed at Wrestling at St Brendan High school, but then decided to start focusing on MMA in 2003 while also amassing an impressive 31-0 kickboxing record. In his MMA debut against Brandon Bledsoe in Absolute Fighting Championship in 2003 he won via KO (Punches) in the first round.

And from there his next big career high was in 2005, when he defeated at the time undefeated Joe Lauzon via TKO (Punches) in the 2nd round again in the AFC fight organisation.

His next big name scalp came in 2007 when he beat legendary MMA fighter Yves Edwards, with a brutal head kick KO in the 2nd round in the Bodog fight promotion.

Then for the next few years, Jorge dotted around a variety of different promotions in the world, walking a ronin’s path – from Strikeforce, CHF, Sengoku, Bellator, G-Force fights, Astra. Now while he took his losses in this movement, he stayed active, consistently taking around 2-4 fights a year, and adding more high level opponents to his resume like: Tae Hyun Bang, Nick Agallar, Satoru Kitaoka, Naoyuko Kotani, K.J Noons, Billy Evangelista, and Jason Wilcox.


The UFC comes calling – cool as ice

In 2013 the UFC finally came calling for Jorge Masvidal, following the dissolution of strikeforce, and it was long overdue in my eyes, as an MMA fan growing up I had seen so many Masvidal fights outside of the UFC, that i always wondered why he wasn’t signed sooner. From day one in the UFC he kicked the door down, with a solid debut win against Top veteran Tim “Dirty Bird” Means via unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 7 –

It really was not surprising to me that Jorge would handle his UFC debut jitters so well, beating a top opponent like Means with relative ease. Because Jorge Masvidal has always been incredibly composed in combat, its something I have always admired about him, so a UFC debut against a serious opponent didn’t phase him, the same way that Ray and many others didn’t phase him back in the streets all those years before.

Then after Tim Means, Masvidal then beat top Lightweight prospect Michael Chiesa, with a surprising Brabo Choke in round 2 at UFC on Fox 8. Chiesa is a Purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and a high level one at that, Cheisa can submit high level Brown and Black belts on his day, so for Masvidal to beat Chiesa with Jiu -Jitsu getting the submission had to be satisfying, and knowing Jorge it was probably something he wanted to prove to Chiesa specifically.

Since then, sure he has taken a few more losses, but that’s just a part of the game, anybody who says they never lost a fight is taking pure bullshit – if you haven’t taken a beating before in anything you have done in life, then you haven’t really ever lived in a way, because its only when we test ourselves, go places that we fear to go, face the worst embarrassment, the worst losses and sorrow, that we find out  who we really are and become a more powerful person in life. But in amongst the lsoses he has collected more high level scalps like Pat Healy, Daron Cruickshank, James Krause, and Cezar Feirrera.


Surge to the top 5

MMA_Gateway_Jorge_Masvidal UFC Sreetfighter titleThen after a close split decision loss to Benson Henderson in 2015, in a fight where Masvidal arguably could have/should have won, in 2016  after a tough start to the year losing another close fight to Lorenz Larkin again by split decision, and again in a fight that Masvidal arguably should of/could of have won.

He then beat tough veteran UK striker Ross Pearson by unanimous decision May 2016, and then after this he made one of the best career decisions I have seen from a fighter recently – he jumped up a weight to fight at 170.

As Science has developed, we have found that the weight cutting process in MMA and combat sports must be reduced to a reasonable 5-15 pound weight cuts in a month-2 month camp, which make it safe and sustainable.

In the past it has been common for many MMA fighters to cut 20-50 pounds of weight leading up to fights, which if pushed too hard has an immense draining effect on the body, and can be life threatening if not done in the correct way – just ask Johny Hendricks about that.

It is not natural to not be able to eat food properly, i mean this is fighting not modelling, and Jorge Masvidal walks around  between 190-195 pounds, so cutting 20 pounds to make 170 is so much healthier for his body then cutting 40 pounds to make 155.

Any doubts Jorge or anyone else had before he jumped up to 170 have been completely erased now, because the results have already spoken for themselves – in Jorge’s first outing at 170, he started with a devastating TKO (punches) victory in the first round against hard hitting and high level UFC  veteran Jake Ellenberger.

Some people spoke about controversy in this fight, because Ellenberger’s foot got stuck in the cage for a moment during the ending sequences of the bout, but I really don’t see what these people are talking about, because Masvidal was lighting up Ellenberger on the feet before his foot got stuck in the cage.

Then one of the biggest scalps of his career was just freshly claimed in January 2017 at UFC on Fox 23, when Jorge Masvidal Knocked out High level multiple weight class top 5 title contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the 2nd round.

I have always been a fan of Jorge Masvidal’s fighting style, and his fights in general as they are always high action, entertaining fights, so its awesome to see him looking better then ever in his career, and now he stands as a potential title challenger in the UFC.


In conclusion – the next step

So what’s next? Well in the words of Jorge “The UFC can use me to get rid of the guys they don’t like” and his next opponent smells a lot like that, because Masvidal has been booked against one of the best Jiu-Jitsu artists in MMA and number  1 contender in the UFC at  170 pounds, and riding a 7 fight win streak – Demian Maia.

It can be argued that the UFC are not excited about the idea of putting Demian Maia in a title fight, because while he is an amazing martial artist, many UFC fans still don’t fully understand or appreciate the art of Jiu-Jitsu, so Maias fights can seem “boring” to an ignorant eye.  Then on top of that, while Maia can speak excellent English, his charisma and ability to sell fights is not great, because he has such an honourable, humble, bushido warrior mindset, which again the UFC does’t necessarily like.

So I am going to be definitely tuning in live, to watch Masvidal vs Maia at UFC 211 on May 13th, because if Jorge Masvidal can beat Demian Maia, then a first ever UFC title shot will be coming for Gamebred – I for one definitely think he can be a champion in the near future.

You can be sure that MMAGateway, will continue to support and follow his career no matter what. I hope you enjoyed this post, and any comments drop them below.

See you again soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Marley Dawkins

2 Comments

  1. I just can’t get past the spot where you talked about Jorge having some losses on his record, I really couldn’t agree more! Having some losses proves to me that he is ready and willing to take on tough opponents and move on from a loss. This is the difference between a true tough professional and wanna be. I have a hard time getting behind someone with no losses; I have to wonder why they haven’t sought out bigger challenges!

    • Hi Rhett, yeah I like that you picked up on the point i made about loses – I also find it is sometimes difficult to back a fighter that hasn’t ever tasted defeat. Everyone loses sometimes and it is from the losses that grow more as a person in life – Jorge has learnt a lot and is one of my favourite fighters in the UFC today

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