Jorge Masvidal is one of the very few fighters in the UFC who can get back-to-back title shots. He lost to Kamaru Usman in 2020, then booked a rematch in less than a year for UFC 261 and lost that via KO, clean and square. What's next for 'Gamebred'?
MMA experts and analysts are split on the debate over whether UFC 261 was Jorge Masvidal's last chance at winning the welterweight championship. While some believe that it is almost impossible to keep 'Gamebred' out of championship talks, others are of the opinion that Masvidal's time is practically up.
Can the 36-year-old still compete for the top position in the UFC welterweight division? How realistic are his chances of winning the championship gold? In this article, we look at three reasons why Jorge Masvidal will never get another shot at the UFC welterweight title.
#3 - Jorge Masvidal is 2-0 down against Kamaru Usman
Jorge Masvidal replaced Gilbert Burns for a title shot against Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 on short notice. He cut 20lbs in six days to make weight and showed up. However, he fell a little short as Usman defeated him via unanimous decision. Jorge Masvidal's stay in title contention would have ended there but the UFC welterweight champion chose him for a rematch after just nine months.
This time, Jorge Masvidal prepared for six weeks in real hopes of dethroning 'The Nigerian Nightmare'. However, he lost in the second round via KO at UFC 261, thus worsening his record to 2-0 against the ever-improving Kamaru Usman.
Had Masvidal won, a trilogy could have been in the making. But with Colby Covington and Stephen Thompson waiting in the queue to get their title shot against Usman, Gamebred's hopes of winning the UFC welterweight championship are practically over.
#2 - Can Jorge Masvidal climb up the ladder again?
It is clear that Jorge Masvidal is not getting another title shot anytime soon. After losing his first bout against Kamaru Usman at UFC 251, Masvidal chose not to work towards another title shot. Instead, he was gifted another opportunity by the welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, himself.
"Alright, lets be honest. You have 14 losses in your career, 7 in the UFC, you're three and three in your last six. You're [Masvidal] sitting here today 'cause I chose you. I am coming around the track and you're the first guy I am about to lap. Period" - Kamaru Usman told Jorge Masvidal ahead of UFC 261.
Now with Kamaru Usman emerging victorious fair and square, the champion will move on to other contenders in the division to further cement his legacy. With Colby Covington entering the talks against Usman and Leon Edwards going against Nate Diaz at UFC 262, Masvidal is likely to be forced to watch from the sidelines.
Will 'Gamebred' be willing enough to fight his way back up to earn another title shot? He certainly did not show a workhorse mentality after losing at UFC 251. Instead, he just sat out of fights to get called out by Kamaru Usman.
Will he now, at 36 years of age, fight against lower-ranked welterweights to prove that he is hungry to taste gold? Masvidal can't just hope for a grudge match against Leon Edwards or Colby Covington, or a rematch against Stephen Thompson or Nate Diaz, and claim another title shot soon. After all, he is coming off two straight losses and will need something to please Dana White.
#1 - Jorge Masvidal is nearing the end of the tunnel
Jorge Masvidal, who made his MMA debut in 2003, has entered his 18th year as a professional MMA fighter. The rematch against Kamaru Usman at UFC 261 was Masvidal's 20th UFC fight and the 50th professional MMA bout overall.
Had he defeated Kamaru Usman at UFC 261, he would've been the UFC fighter with the second-most appearances to win championship gold for the first time. Michael Bisping holds the record with 26 fights, the appearances it took him to become the UFC middleweight champion in 2016 when he defeated Luke Rockhold.
Realistically speaking, Jorge Masvidal would need to earn a series of wins in order to have another shot at the UFC welterweight title. There are a few fights that do make sense for 'Gamebred', but does he have time?
Jorge Masvidal vs Leon Edwards would definitely do well as a PPV-selling event. He could also set up a rematch against Stephen Thompson to avenge his loss from 2017, or arrange a BMF chapter two against Nate Diaz.
However, it would require luck, and a willingness from other fighters - not to mention the right dates - to make things work. Jorge Masvidal isn't getting any younger either. It was almost heart-breaking to see the 'Street Jesus' himself get 'baptised' for the first time in his career.
Jorge Masvidal has enjoyed popularity, fame, and money for the majority of his career, and his fan following only seems to grow by the day. However, it could well be time for 'Gamebred' to give up the championship dreams and hang up his boots.
Check out: Jorge Masvidal's Career Earnings