Jorge Masvidal is a true veteran in the world of Mixed Martial Arts at only the age of 26. The Miami, Florida native was first seen fighting in the streets, even appearing in a video that saw him fight Kimbo Slice’s protégé at the time. In 2003 he had his first professional MMA fight and even ventured into the world of pro boxing with one fight in 2005.
In his eight year career, he has beaten the likes of Joe Lauzon, Keith Wisniewski, Yves Edwards, and former Sengoku Champion Satoru Kitaoka. He has fought all over the world, in promotions like the now defunct BodogFIGHT, a previous stint in Strikeforce, Bellator, and Sengoku. “Gamebred” has been resigned by Strikeforce and is making his return to the six-sided cage against undefeated Lightweight Contender Billy Evangelista at Strikeforce: Faijao Vs. Henderson. Jorge took some time off his preparation to speak to Lowkick.com about his fight this Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.
At only the age of 26, you are a veteran fighter in the game with as many fights to match your age. How does it feel to be returning to Strikeforce and how many fights are you locked down for?
I signed an exclusive deal for six fights, but in my contract they allowing me to fight in Japan and other organizations so the deal works out real good for me. I couldn’t be more excited to be with Strikeforce. I fought with them back then and they were doing big things already. They were the first MMA promotion to hold fights at the Playboy Mansion and streaming live events on Yahoo. They were doing big things then, now they are a 10x the organization they were before and they take good care of me.
What do you think of your opponent Billy Evangelista?
I think I’m going to kick his butt, that’s what I think. I’m going to kick his butt from round one to however long it takes.
In preparation for Billy Evangelista, are you doing anything differently then you normally would for training?
Not really man, just the same old me. I just train; we’ll have a couple sessions to neutralize his strengths. Just getting in shape and keeping my weight down is my main concern. I don’t worry about what he does; I worry about what I do.
Evangelista comes from a strong grappling background, have you been working with anyone in particular to help you prepare for him?
At American Top Team we have about 15 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts. Even the guy just sitting down on the bleachers, not even practicing in the gym has a BJJ black belt. We actually got a few black belts fresh out of Brazil. We got a lot of good grapplers; it’s something I work on with them on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if I’m fighting a grappler or not, I’ll always training with good grapplers.
I know you don’t want to look too far ahead with the fight coming up on Saturday, but is there anyone in particular that you would like to fight in Strikeforce if given the chance?
I would like to fight the next toughest guy after Billy. The quickest way of getting to the title, that’s what I’d like to do. Just tell me so and so is the next number one guy or if they want to give me a shot after Billy. I know Billy has seven straight wins in Strikeforce, he’s gotta be up there as one of the top dogs. If they want me to fight Billy and then ten more guys to get to the title let’s do it. If they want me to fight Billy and then for the title let’s do it.
With a win over Evangelista, you do see yourself in the title picture, how soon do you think you’d get your shot if you beat him?
Hopefully the next fight, that’s what I’m hoping for. But if it doesn’t happen that way, I’ll go right back to the grind. However long it takes, I’m willing to grind it out.
You’ve been all over the world and fought some of the best names in the sport. Who was your toughest opponent to date?
Really man I get asked that a lot. For me, they (his opponents) have all been the same. It’s just the training camp, the preparation is tough. The actual fight itself is usually fun. They’ve all been tough equally. The ones that were supposed to be really tough, they ended up not being that tough because I prepared that well for them. I don’t really have one fight that sticks out in my head out of all the fights I’ve been in.
Your nickname is “Gamebred”, it’s very cool. How did you earn that nickname, and who gave it to you?
My brother gave it to me; he knew I was all into dogs. He suggested I call myself that. When I first started fighting, I didn’t have a lot of skill but I just had the willingness to fight. It didn’t matter if I was tired or hurt, I was just gonna keep fighting and fighting and fighting. That’s what Gamebred is.
I saw the trailers for “Miami Hustle” on Youtube, how’s that coming along?
It’s coming along good; we are in touch with a couple networks. I don’t know where we are end up going right now. It’s not going to be an internet thing though, it’ll get picked up by a network I’ll tell you that much.
This is an off-topic question; it’s not necessarily an MMA question…..
I love the off-topic questions, keep ‘em coming man I love those kinds of questions!
Alright, you’re going to love this question. If there is anyone at all you that you’d like to fight from any time period, it doesn’t have to be an MMA fighter, it can anybody at all. Who would you fight if you had the option to?
Toby Imada because he actually beat me, Paul Rodriquez, or anyone of those two guys. In particular, anybody I dislike. I don’t know man, if I didn’t already beat their ass at one point in my life….People that I’ve disliked that I wanted to fight, I’ve already kicked their ass. I can’t think of anyone else I dislike that I want to fight.
Any famous or historical people?
Ummm….Oh ya, that’s a few cops I’d love to bust up that have put their hands on me! There are a couple of them, put them in the cage with me that would be fun. (laughs)
(Jorge’s Agent jumps into the conversation) Only in the cage, not the street. We love cops Jorge.
Of course, I’d prefer to fight them in the cage.
What can the fans expect from you this Saturday night in Columbus?
Expect me, good ol’ Jorge, coming forward, and being in shape. Throwing punches, scoring takedowns, just making this guy regret he’s stepping in there with me. I’ll be letting him know who the man is.
Special thanks to Tina Vidal-Smith for helping set this interview up and Jorge Masvidal for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to us. Jorge would like thank his sponsors Raw State, Full Tilt Poker, ML Management, Non-Stop Miami Sports Performance, and American Top Team.
Image credits go to SRC, Bellator Fighting Championships, and Dave Mandel for Shark Fights.