Jorge Masvidal shocked the O2 Arena in London last weekend after he put Britain’s own Darren Till to sleep in the main event of UFC Fight Night 147.
Masvidal landed two nasty left hands in the second round that put Till momentarily unconscious on his back at the canvass. Gamebred had gotten confident in the second round after letting his hands go. Masvidal was in early survival mode when Till dropped him with his opening salvo. But the British Gorilla was unable to finish Masvidal and the American Top Team fighter cleared the cobwebs and got himself back in the fight.
From there it became a back and forth affair with Till trying to stalk Masvidal and the latter trying to counter his aggressive opponent. As the fight progressed, Gamebred grew in confidence. He started landing flush on Till who appeared to take his opponent’s power for granted. In round 2, Masvidal switched stances and that confused Till who got caught as Gamebred started to let his hands fly.
The loss was the second consecutive for the Englishman after a failed title bid against Tyron Woodley. For Masvidal, the victory snapped a two-fight losing streak and put his career back on track. He’s now just 8/1 on Betway as of 26 March to finish 2019 as the UFC Welterweight Champion, something which seemed far more unlikely just a few months ago.
Plenty of Options for Masvidal
The win should move Masvidal from 11 in the rankings to somewhere in the middle and with that, he should have plenty of options for his next fight, beginning with Leon Edwards. Edwards, the 10th ranked 170-pounder before his win over Gunnar Nelson on the same event, engaged Masvidal in a brawl on backstage after the former trash talked Gambred during a post-fight interview. A formal fight between the two would be a good sell for the UFC.
#6 ranked welterweight Ben Askren, whose first UFC fight was a controversial submission win over Robbie Lawler a couple of weeks ago at UFC 235, also expressed interested in fighting Gamebred. Askren was beaten up in the stand up by Lawler but managed to secure a takedown that eventually led to the submission victory. Masvidal and Askren have begun trading words after Funky Ben’s refusal to rematch Lawler. A fight and a win over Askren would put Masvidal in the Top 5 and closer to a shot at the world title which is now wrapped around the waist of Kamaru Usman.
Or maybe Masvidal could want to fight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson next in a rematch. That feels a little less likely after his defeat to Anthony Pettis but it could yet happen with Thompson out for revenge. The stage could be set for a runback of a 2017 fight where Thompson defeated Masvidal via unanimous decision.
Wonderboy is currently ranked 3rd in the welterweight division, behind former champion Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington. Despite Woodley’s plea for an immediate rematch, I’m not sure Dana White is going to grant that because he doesn’t grant immediate rematches after a one-sided loss. As for Covington, well he’s probably gotten the ire of White because of his antics so if Masvidal pushes for the Wonderboy fight and goes on to avenge his loss, then we could see the 34-year old finally getting the title shot that has long evaded him, whether it’s before or after Covington gets his.
But Is Masvidal Worth It?
Sure, you have to love Jorge Masvidal for putting Darren Till to sleep. What he did was nothing short of incredible and not only because he was coming off a long layoff and a pair of losses, but because he did so in Till’s backyard. Despite that, I’m not sure if Gamebred has the tools to become a world champion at all. There will be nights like the one when he knocked out Darren Till but there will be nights like the 13 where he lost inside the cage.
However, if you take a close look at Masvidal’s resume, you will find out that he lost five out of his last nine bouts before beating Darren Till. Four of those losses were vie split decision and none by stoppage. Masvidal hasn’t been stopped since 2009 when he lost via reverse triangle choke to Toby Imada at Bellator 5. That was eons ago. So no matter what you say about him and his record, Gamebred is one tough SOB right there. Whether he becomes world champion, though may be another story.