Although he’s a veteran of MMA, Jorge Masvidal propelled himself to the mainstream in 2019 after a 16-month layoff. He put together 3 consecutive victories, including a record-breaking fastest knockout in the UFC over Ben Askren, and defeating Nate Diaz (via doctor stoppage TKO) for the BMF belt, specially commissioned by Dana White exclusively for that fight.
UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman was scheduled to defend his title against Gilbert Burns, but due to COVID-19 complications, Burns was removed from the UFC 251 card. Jorge Masvidal stepped up as a challenger with only 6-days short notice, and despite losing the fight via judge’s decision, Masvidal gave an impressive performance in the early rounds.
MMA fans are wondering what’s next for Gamebred, and we’re going to speculate on some of his options.
A fight that many would love to see, as both McGregor and Masvidal have hinted at a possible matchup between them in the past. Masvidal has called out McGregor previously, and McGregor poked fun at Masvidal’s choice of wardrobe at UFC 246, while also agreeing that a fight between them would be a “mega-money” fight, and that he [McGregor] would add the BMF belt to his list. If this fight ever took place, you would expect sites like Casumo to be quite happy at offering odds.
Sadly, this fight may never materialize, as Dana White has been adamant that Conor McGregor is retired. When asked about a potential fight between McGregor and Masvidal, Dana White replied: “I don’t know. I don’t know how many times I gotta say, Conor McGregor is retired.”
If you ask Gamebred himself who he wants to fight next, his mind is definitely set on a rematch for Kamaru Usman’s welterweight championship. Speaking to ESPN, Masvidal said:
‘Usman obviously, it’s a no-brainer. Could they offer me bigger names and pay me more money? Yes. For a fact. But if it’s up to me, Usman. You could tell me that McGregor right now would make X, Y, Z dollars, the biggest pay-per-view event in history right, and I’m going to get paid forever.
I feel like I got compensated well enough now, that I keep making the right decisions that I’ve been doing, then this money is forever money. So it’s not about money. It’s about I want that damn belt and I’m stubborn. I know I’m better than Usman and I want to prove it. I want to fight again.”
However, Kamaru Usman is currently facing a possible 6-month medical suspension, so if you factor that along with a suitable training camp time for both fighters, it could be a while before a rematch is seen.
Covington and Masvidal have somewhat of a history of bad blood, being former teammates at American Top Team, and having nothing nice to say about each other for quite a long time. The former interim welterweight champion, who was also defeated by Kamaru Usman in his last fight, put both Usmaru and Masvidal’s performances on blast after UFC 251:
“I wanted to watch it but then I fell asleep. It was so boring. It was a hug-fest and they were playing footsie the whole time. That wasn’t a real fight. Marty Fakenewsman’s stock went way down in the fight. He is definitely the most boring fighter in the history of the UFC.”
However, Covington has been quite vocal about wanting to fight Tyron Woodley, and the UFC has reportedly been hard at work putting that fight together. So it’s still not out of the realm of possibility that Masvidal and Covington could meet in the octagon, it doesn’t look like it will happen just yet.
Masvidal was disappointed at winning the BMF belt via doctor stoppage, and has been vocal about wanting a rematch with Nate Diaz, to give Diaz a fair opportunity at finishing the fight. While speaking to Ariel Helwani prior to UFC 251, Masvidal said that Nate Diaz is one of two people who are heavy on his radar:
“There are two guys on my radar heavy. Nate is one of them. No matter what, it was a good fight. Me and the world didn’t get the results that we wanted. I know Nate wants to run it back. Speaking from the heart, I wanna run it back. When I get this title nothing would be better to give him the opportunity. He gave me the fight for his BMF belt. Come on. Come fight for this belt now. I’ll hand him over the favor.”
However, after the results of UFC 251, Masvidal definitely has his sights set on a rematch with Usman. If Usman ends up taking a 6-month medical suspension, Masvidal and Diaz could meet again in the meantime, though it would hurt Masvidal’s claims for a rematch with Usman if Diaz defeated him in a second fight.
What’s up with the BMF title?
No matter who Masvidal fights next, many fans are also wondering just what exactly the UFC and Masvidal plan to do with the BMF title belt. Masvidal didn’t put it on the line against Kamaru Usman at UFC 251, and Dana White mentioned to reporters that, even though Usman was blowing up his phone asking about Masvidal putting up the BMF title, White was firm that it was a “one and done” belt created uniquely for the Masvidal / Diaz bout.
It’s pretty much entirely up to Masvidal what happens with the BMF belt, so while he didn’t put it on the line against Usman, it may be because he’s holding onto it for the possible rematch with Nate Diaz.