People call out Conor McGregor. A lot. Since the Irishman’s rise to the top of MMA, he’s easily the most sought after fight among the top-tier fighters near his weight range. But usually when they call out McGregor it’s either with anger (“You’re taking everything I worked for motherf*cker!”) or by playing against his ego (“He tap like chicken.”) Jorge Masvidal is trying a different tactic.
Masvidal appears to be abiding by the old adage, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar as the third-ranked welterweight was full of praise recently when speaking about a potential match-up against McGregor.
“First, let me say whether Conor takes it or not – because people be putting sometimes words in people’s mouths, from my mouth in particular – I got good things to say about Conor,” Masvidal told TMZ Sports. “He’s done a lot in this sport and he’s made his money already. If he feels he’s not getting the money he deserves to come back, man I’m the first one to applaud him and be like, ‘Do your thing my brother. Go get the money.’ I always cheer for my MMA brothers and sisters. So if he feels he ain’t getting his money’s worth, I’m not gonna call ever him a p*ssy for that, or nothing like that. Go get your money’s worth. That’s the first thing I want to say.
“The second thing is, if he wants to come back and he wants somebody who’s gonna stand with him and give him the type of fights that he likes, look no further my brother. Let’s not flirt with each other and all this sh*t. I’ve got a big buzz going on because I’m known and put people to sleep. You’ve got a huge buzz because you put people to sleep. Let’s do this. That’s it. It has to be no back and forth and all that flirty sh*t like we’re in high school. Let’s just scrap if we’re gonna scrap. If not, NEXT.”
Masvidal has recently risen to prominence on the back of a pair of sensational knockout wins, the first over Darren Till and the most recent being his record-breaking five-second flying knee KO of the previously undefeated Ben Askren. Masvidal’s late career rise to stardom (he’s had 47 professional MMA fights already) coupled with his “Give zero f*cks” attitude has drawn parallels to Nate Diaz, which in turn raised the potential for a bout with McGregor. But unlike Diaz, Masvidal has no interest in playing The Dozens with McGregor, not because he can’t but because he’s got respect for him and because he sees himself in a similar situation.
“Believe me, brother, I can talk sh*t with the best of them,” Masvidal said. “I grew up in Miami, Florida. Anybody that knows me knows I can talk sh*t for days, but I don’t get paid enough to do it so I’m not gonna be flirting with dudes online. Let’s just fight, what I signed up for, and that’s it. Conor wants the fight, I want the fight, it’ll happen. If not, I don’t want anybody putting words in my mouth or nothing like that. The dude is a f*cking G, bro. He did his thing. He wants more money and he’s not getting it, who am I to blame him? I would never tell a guy, ‘You’re a b*tch for not taking a fight.’ No, he wants to get paid his money. He deserves it. I’m in the same place right now. I want an upgrade from where I’ve been at.”
McGregor has reportedly been in a standoff with the UFC over his return to the cage since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. His name has been linked to several bouts but nothing firm has ever taken hold. Given Masvidal’s recent star turn, “Gamebred” could be considered a solid option for McGregor but UFC Dana White opined that Masvidal was too big for the former two-division world champion. That prompted White to draw the ire of McGregor, and Masvidal concurs that the size discrepancy is overblown.
“I used to be a 55er, Conor used to be a 45er,” Masvidal said. “I’m naturally a 70 pounder, Conor’s probably a natural 55er. I’m a small 70 pounder though and Conor’s a decent-sized 55er so the size is not that much. It’s not incomparable. It’s not crazy. There’s probably more of a difference between me and [Darren] Till and me and Conor, size WISe, and me and Till are in the same weight class.”
Say what you want about McGregor but no one can deny that “Notorious” has never been one to shy away from a challenge. He boxed Floyd Mayweather without any prior pro Boxing experience and took on Khabib, a stylistic nightmare matchup for him, without batting an eye. He also insisted on rematching Nate Diaz at 170 pounds, though a rematch at lightweight probably served him better. In that same vein, Masvidal believes the challenge of going up and facing him would once again bring out the best in McGregor.
“If Conor wants it, it’s here,” Masvidal said. “The fight is here and it’s gonna be action packed. I’m gonna get my hand raised at the end of it, I know that for a fact. No matter what happens, I’m getting my hand raised at the end of that. And if Conor takes the fight, I’m know I’m the type of guy that he’s gonna be motivated by to run early, do the miles that he’s got to do, and train because he knows I’m only going for one thing on him, the off button. I’m not going in there to outpoint him or nothing, I’m going in there hit the off button on him and that wakes up a lot of fighters.
“If you want this fight, I’m right here. Let’s get it f*cking cracking. Let’s go.”
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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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