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Jorge Masvidal says decision to pull Kelvin Gastelum from his fight 'breaks my heart'

Esther Lin

Jorge Masvidal keeps having a tough time getting fights with ranked opponents.

The American Top Team fighter was scheduled to fight fifth-ranked welterweight Kelvin Gastelum at The Ultimate Fighting Latin America 3 finale in Mexico City, but was left without a bout on Wednesday after Gastelum was booked to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 in New York City.

Masvidal calls the news heart breaking, as this is not the first time a ranked opponent gets pulled to fight him and scheduled to fight somebody else.

"It's really heart breaking, man," Masvidal told MMA Fighting. "We both signed bout agreements. Joe Silva told me it was more than on its way, you know. And I just found out today that they're putting [Gastelum] to fight 'Cowboy' [Cerrone]. This is crazy, man, because this has happened to me three times. Like all the cases have been documented. Like me, my opponents, once I've signed, for some reason or another they get pulled out right before we get the match. So it breaks my heart, you know. I really wanted to put on a fight with a ranked guy."

Masvidal found out the news through his manager, and although he doesn't know the reason on why Gastelum was pulled from his fight to face Cerrone, Masvidal thinks it might have something to do with popularity.

"I don't know what reason they gave, but the real reason is that I'm not a big name," Masvidal explained. "I don't have a bunch of followers on Instagram or what not, you know what I'm saying. So I figured I wasn't enough of a draw, counting the whole card of Mexico, as [opposed] of being in New York. That's the only thing I could think of, you know. It's just politics a lot of the times. So whatever, I'm just hoping I can get the highest-ranked possible dude. I don't want to fight no up-and-coming guy, no guy that's 15-0 but hasn't faced anybody yet. That's not where I am in my career. I need to fight the best in the world, so that's what I'm looking to do Nov. 5th, fight the best in the world."

And by best in the world, Masvidal means he wants a fight with a former UFC welterweight champion.

"Johny Hendricks," Masvidal said. "He's No. 6 in the world right now. I think it would be a great fight"

Still, it's unclear if Masvidal will be staying on the Mexico City card, but says the UFC is actively looking for a replacement opponent.

"I tried with Bobby Green, same thing happened with Ben Henderson, same exact thing. We both had signed the bout agreements and they pulled him. They pulled Ben from fighting me to fight Brandon Thatch, and when I was going to fight Bobby Green, they pulled him to fight Cowboy [Cerrone] because Eddie [Alvarez] was having trouble coming over from Bellator. Eddie ended up getting the green light from Bellator, and they did that fight, so I thought I would get back to the Bobby Green fight and I ended up fighting James Krause. So I haven't been able to get my hand on a ranked guy at the right time, and it's time to make that happen," Masvidal said.

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