At this stage of his career, Jorge Masvidal is all about maximizing profits.
Few fighters rose in prominence like Masvidal did this past year and it appears that he has his pick of opponents after becoming the “BMF” champion with a win over Nate Diaz in November.
Masvidal explained that he’s not against challenging Usman, but a bout with McGregor has the potential to be far more lucrative.
“I won’t say [fighting Usman is] not the right move,” said Masvidal, who was in Las Vegas as a guest fighter for UFC 246. “Usman’s a fight, Conor’s obviously flirted with the idea of fighting me. If me and Conor go in the Octagon, what happens? It’s one of the biggest fights in history.
“Just by math, proven by what Conor’s been doing, the last couple of fights that I’ve had, the engagement, the pay-per-views, I broke records with ESPN. So obviously, it’s a formula for success. Somebody will always have the belt at 170 pounds, so it doesn’t really matter if it’s Kamaru or not. Conor’s the bigger fight. If Conor doesn’t do his job, or Conor doesn’t want to fight after this fight, we’re going to take Usman’s head off.”
That declaration doesn’t mean that Usman is off the hook. Masvidal replied in the affirmative when asked if Conor, then Usman, was the ideal order for his next two bookings.
“Yes, for a fact,” Masvidal said. “We’d smash up Conor and then go embarrass this actor Usman.”
Masvidal, a 16-year MMA veteran, hopes to fight in April or June. He’s had lingering issues with his hands, though he wouldn’t provide details about their condition other than to say they were recently checked out.
When the question of McGregor or Usman was re-framed with the hypothetical caveat that both matchups would bring the same pay, Masvidal didn’t hesitate to single out Usman. The response wasn’t all that surprising given their growing animosity in recent months.
“Like I said, it’s a money thing at first,” Masvidal said. “But if I’m getting paid in food for the both of them for some reason and it’s the same food, I like Conor for what he does in the ring. I like all the eyeballs he’s brought to the sport. Usman I can’t stand him, I can’t stand that dude. So I pick Usman all day.
“But it’s business, right? Always, especially for me. So I pick Conor in real life. But if it’s all the same potatoes and tomatoes, I will break [Usman’s] f*cking face and in a violent way. It’s just I don’t like how he’s been playing. At first, I came at him with a lot of respect, and now he’s been talking too much s*it, I just want to shut his mouth up.”