Jorge Masvidal's next UFC fight is most likely going to be a sell-out, too.
Jorge Masvidal's prospects of winning the UFC welterweight championship ended with the KO loss against Kamaru Usman at UFC 261. Along with the championship dreams, also ended his rivalry with 'The Nigerian Nightmare' as Masvidal lost the battle fair and square.
It's time for 'Gamebred' to forget the past and take on other fighters in the UFC welterweight division. With 20 UFC fights already under his belt, the 36-year-old has only a few more years of action remaining ahead of him, at best. Therefore, Jorge Masvidal needs to take care of unfinished business in the division before hanging up his boots.
In this article, we look at three welterweights that make the most sense as Jorge Masvidal's next UFC fights.
#3 - Jorge Masvidal vs Leon Edwards
2019 was a great year for Jorge Masivdal, career-wise. The Miami native enjoyed three straight wins. He scored a come-from-behind KO win against Darren Till, the fastest KO win in UFC history, and a TKO win (via doctor stoppage) against Nate Diaz for the BMF belt.
Jorge Masvidal's fight against Darren Till in March 2019 was interesting for more than one reason, though. At the event that took place in London, 'Gamebred' hurt not one but two event fighters - Darren Till and Leon Edwards.
During one of his post-fight press conferences, Jorge Masvidal got into a confrontation with Leon Edwards. 'Rocky' was coming off a decision win against Gunnar Nelson that night.
The incident first started off verbally, as the current number 3 welterweight fighter Leon Edwards said that Masvidal would get his "ass kicked in July." Responding to the jibe, Masvidal approached Edwards with his hands behind his back, saying:
"Hey, come over here and say that to my face."
As the two fighters squared up, Jorge Masvidal unleashed a three-punch combo on the Birmingham-based fighter, leaving a cut on his face.
The incident gave birth to a rivalry that needs to be addressed inside the octagon. While Masvidal is as popular a fighter as ever despite consecutive losses against Kamaru Usman, Leon Edwards is on an eight-fight winning streak.
Edwards is set to face Nate Diaz at UFC 262 in May 2021. That means the UFC should be able to book Leon Edwards in the second half of 2021 as Jorge Masvidal's next UFC fight. If booked, it is guaranteed to be a full-house event. In addition, going against a higher-ranked welterweight fighter is just the boost that Jorge Masvidal needs.
Taking their rivalry up a notch, Leon Edwards called Jorge Masvidal "sh*t" after the latter's KO loss against Kamaru Usman at UFC 261.
Having Leon Edwards (18-3) as Jorge Masvidal's next fight makes sense as the two fighters match up well stylistically, too, with striking-oriented kickboxing backgrounds.
#2 - Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz
Nate Diaz called out "gangster" Jorge Masvidal after defeating Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 and the two were booked for the BMF title fight. At UFC 244, Masvidal absolutely thrashed Nate Diaz to establish himself as the 'Baddest Motherfu***r'.
However, the exciting rivalry between the two is still unfinished. Nate Diaz (21-12) faces Leon Edwards at UFC 262 in the MMA promotion's first ever non-title, co-main five-round event. There is a high chance, however, of Dana White booking Nate Diaz as Jorge Masvidal's next UFC fight.
The Stockton native, Nate Diaz, is currently an unranked welterweight but just like Jorge Masvidal, holds a great pull among fight fans. 'Gamebred' is well aware of this fact and has acknowledged that a rematch against Nate Diaz has been on his mind, too.
Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz 2 was actually in the works before Masvidal's rematch against Kamaru Usman was booked at UFC 261. The Diaz rematch did not happen, though, due to an undisclosed reason. Jorge Masvidal spoke about the rematch with Nate Diaz that didn't materialize and told Ariel Helwani,
“[Diaz] couldn’t come to terms with the UFC, this and that, blah blah blah.. I don’t know. I don’t know what goes on on the side. We tried to make that fight happen, my camp was talking to his camp, it didn’t happen. I don’t know what the exact logistics are, he didn’t like the date, he thought about even more and realized this guy is gonna destroy his face. Maybe he wants to have a modeling career or something, I don’t know.”
When asked whether Jorge Masvidal owed Nate Diaz a rematch, he said it would happen as he could not 'baptize' Diaz in the first match. 'Gamebred' said:
“I told him (Nate) I’d run it back, so you can believe that we’re running it back. I don’t know when it’s going to happen, this year, the fight after this (UFC 261). I dunno. But guaranteed, we are running it back. At some point. So long as he says yes, I am more than willing to break his ribs, his face, his spirit again.”
#1 - Jorge Masvidal vs Stephen Thompson
Jorge Masvidal wants to avenge his UFC 217 loss against Stephen Thompson soon. 'Gamebred' vs 'Wonderboy' is another excellent stylistic match-up that is certain to get UFC boss Dana White and MMA fans drooling.
With Masvidal not getting another title shot anytime soon, booking Stephen Thompson (16-4-1) as Jorge Masvidal's next UFC fight should make the most sense for the UFC president. After beating Tyron Woodley at UFC 209, 'Wonderboy' called out Jorge Masvidal and later revealed how the two fighters planned for their fight during a UFC event.
Speaking to Adam Catterall from BT Sport ahead of UFC 261, Jorge Masvidal said he wanted Stephen Thompson to be his next opponent. Overlooking Colby Covington as Jorge Masvidal's next UFC fight, he said:
"Colby [Covington] could be waiting for whatever the f*ck he wants. I call the shots... I might just slap him up today or tomorrow, you know. I don't know who is going to get the next title shot. Oabviously, Stephen Thompson has a victory over me. I would love to compete against him, he is also in the top five. Colby will get his jaw broken. I'll say when it happens."
As of now, the UFC are trying to book a fight between the number 5 welterweight Stephen Thompson and number 3 Gilbert Burns for UFC 264 in July 2021. However, 'Wonderboy' would make an ideal candidate for Jorge Masvidal's next UFC fight whenever possible.