Jorge Masvidal has not fought since his UFC 251 title fight loss to Kamaru Usman in July, 2020.
A number of fights are being talked about for the man known to fans as 'Street Jesus', but none of them have been confirmed or made official by UFC yet.
Here are the top 5 fights that UFC could book for Jorge Masvidal in 2021.
#5 Jorge Masvidal vs. Leon Edwards
Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards have a rivalry that dates back to March of 2019, when the two fell out after UFC London. Both the fighters came out with big wins, and later engaged in an altercation backstage. Provoked by comments passed by Edwards while doing an interview, Masvidal went ahead and landed what he later called a "three piece with the soda" on Edwards.
After Khamzat Chimaev had to pull out of the January 20 Fight Night because of COVID-19 complications, Leon Edwards tweeted, challenging Jorge Masvidal to step up and fight him. 'Gamebred' is yet to reply to the call out, and UFC has since scrapped the whole headliner to be scheduled for a later date.
However, a matchup between the two is longtime brewing, and could possibly be where we see Jorge Masvidal make a return to the octagon.
#4 Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz II
'Gamebred' did not like the way things ended with Nate Diaz at UFC 244 when the two fought it out over the BMF belt. The fight was awarded to Masvidal because of a doctor's stoppage TKO owing to the massive cuts above and under Diaz's eye.
In the post-fight interview, Jorge Masvidal said that he was yet to "baptize" Nate Diaz, so they would be running it back again as soon as possible. Nate Diaz reflected the same.
While it is unlikely that UFC will book a rematch for the title defense, it might very well be the direction they go down, especially with Nate Diaz reportedly preparing to make a comeback.
#3 Jorge Masvidal vs. Stephen Thompson II
After securing a decision win at the last UFC event of 2020, Stephen Thompson called out Jorge Masvidal for a "NMF vs. BMF" fight.
The two faced earlier in 2017, when both Jorge Masvidal and Stephen Thompson was looking to rise back up to the top of the 170-pounds division. Despite allowing his opponent to recover from his quick strikes and knockdown attempts in his true "NMF" fashion, 'Wonderboy' secured a decision win in the bout.
With Masvidal ranked No. 4 and Thompson No. 5 in the division, UFC could get an interesting fight out of the rematch that both of them seem interested in. 'Wonderboy' has already provided them with a suitable name for the bout as well.
Watch the fight below.
#2 Jorge Masvidal vs. Kamaru Usman II
Jorge Masvidal finally got his much-awaited welterweight title shot against the champion Kamaru Usman, but had only a week's notice to prepare for it. When Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19, 'Gamebred' stepped in to save the main event of UFC 251. That was the last outing of both the fighters in UFC.
Post his unanimous decision defeat, Masvidal said he would do whatever it takes to get a rematch with Usman, and this time, leave the octagon with the belt around his waist. But he also gave credit where it was due.
"I made a lot of mistakes. I tried to fight in spots where I didn’t think my gas tank was the greatest. Right when I would get loose he would clinch me up and take it right back into his world. So, I’m not going to take anything away from him. He won fair and square. I will do whatever it takes to get back in front of that man and compete again and get my hand raised."
Usman has gone through most of the top contenders of the division, and No. 2 ranked Gilbert Burns is still due his turn. It is unlikely UFC would book Masvidal for a second time before Burns gets his chance, but there is always a possibility, given how uncertain the fight cards are at the moment.
Watch the fight below.
#1 Jorge Masvidal vs. Colby Covington
A fight between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington has been in the talks for a very long time now.
It is that ultimate grudge matchup in the welterweight division that the fans have been waiting for ever since the two former best friends fell out publicly. Masvidal and Covington shared a great friendship when they trained together at American Top Team. They even shared a residence at a point in time.
However, after Masvidal shot to fame with the 5-second knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239, things started to change. While Covington blamed Masvidal's jealousy over his success as the reason why they drifted apart, Masvidal said that Covington failed to pay one of his coaches post his interim title fight with Rafael dos Anjos.
The two started exchanging trash talk in person as well as social media, with Colby Covington even calling the BMF title fight against Nate Diaz a "journeyman title". Their intense rivalry forced ATT gym owner Dan Lambert to come up with the rule forbidding teammates to trash talk against each other. Violating that policy, Covington left the gym earlier in 2020.
Dana White recently told The Schmo that a matchup between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington is the fight that UFC wants as well, and they are hoping to get it done this year. If UFC manages to pull off this bout this year, it would probably be one of the biggest fights that the welterweight division could see in 2021.
"We’re working on that fight. That’s the fight we want, too, and hopefully we’ll get that done this year, too."Published 02 Jan 2021, 13:47 IST