Why is Jorge Masvidal starting a bare-knuckle organization, and can it compete with the BKFC?

Jorge 'Gamebred' Masvidal poses with his 'BMF' belt
Jorge 'Gamebred' Masvidal poses with his 'BMF' belt
Avinash Tewari

Jorge Masvidal has enjoyed a rise to superstardom over the last couple of years, following his enormous comeback in 2019. After having a large majority of his fights go to decisions, 'Gamebred' decided it was time to make a change.

Jorge Masvidal suffered back-to-back losses in 2017 and took a hiatus from the sport. He returned in 2019 and put the world on notice after his stellar knockout of Darren Till in the latter's home country of England. His next fight was against Ben Askren and he clocked the fastest knockout in UFC history, while simultaneously handing Askren his first pro-MMA loss. 'Gamebred' then beat Nate Diaz for the honorary 'BMF' belt.

Jorge Masvidal stepped in on six days' notice to face welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and save the UFC 251 main event after Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19. He was promised a rematch with a full fight camp and we will see how that plays out this Saturday night at UFC 261.

However, Masvidal wasn't always a professional fighter competing at the highest level for UFC titles. He started as a street fighter in his hometown of Miami, competing in backyard fights for the legendary Kimbo Slice.

Jorge Masvidal announces his own bare-knuckle organization

Masvidal recently announced his bare-knuckle fighting organization, which will be called the Gamebred Fighting Championship. It stems from his roots as a street fighter and will kick off in his hometown of Miami, where Jorge Masvidal began his journey.

At the UFC 261 pre-fight press conference, Jorge Masvidal was asked what prompted him to start this venture and if he'd ask UFC boss Dana White for tips on being a promoter. 'Gamebred' jokingly said:

"I don't think he'd be willing to give those tips out for free, I don't think he'd want to say that. But yeah, it's just bare knuckles, what I started in. I'm just looking for the next great street fighter, man, that wants to make it through the ranks and go all the way to professional ranks, follow in the footsteps of Kimbo and me, you know? Nothing too crazy, just pure violence, man."

While this will be extremely entertaining to watch, it will also be noteworthy to see how it competes with BKFC (Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship). BKFC is one of the fastest-growing combat-sport promotions in the world. The organization keeps adding more to its repertoire, not just with its roster, but with innovative steps like fighter pensions.

Bare-knuckle fighting isn't new, and Brazil has an entire history of the Vale Tudo and its legends dating back to the 1920s. That said, it will be interesting to see how Jorge Masvidal runs the show and what pool of talent he can find for the Gamebred Fighting Championship.

Edited by Utathya Ghosh

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