It was supposed to be a trophy in a one-off title fight. But Jorge Masvidal takes seriously his responsibilities as “BMF” champion.
Masvidal won the newly made belt this past November with a defeat of Nate Diaz via doctor stoppage. But heading into that encounter, UFC president Dana White declared the BMF championship was “one-and-done” and not intended to be treated like the promotion’s traditional championships.
Appearing on Thursday as a guest fighter ahead of UFC 246, Masvidal told the media he’d be happy to put his title on the line. But there are conditions.
“You guys know I’m a gambling man,” Masvidal said. “If somebody wants this one right here, you’ve got to put something up worth collateral. Something that makes me go, ‘Yeah, that makes it worth me putting this up.’ I’m not just gonna put this up for somebody to win and me to not win nothing after I baptize them. You’ve got to give me something if I end your ass.
“It can be financial, it can be many things. Maybe certain individuals don’t even get to speak or do an interview if I whoop their ass the right way, s*it like that. I work for the community, so I know for a lot us certain people shouldn’t be talking no more.”
On the possibility of an opponent losing their media privileges, Masvidal didn’t single anyone out. However, Colby Covington, one of the UFC’s most talkative fighters and a former friend turned foe, was mentioned as an option.
Masvidal quickly dismissed that.
“It’s not on my radar,” Masvidal said of Covington. “He got his jaw broken by the guy that I’m about to baptize. So after I’m done with [Kamaru] Usman, the world will see the vast – we’re not on the same playing field with the skill level. We haven’t been since we were in the gym as kids, and we’re not definitely now. But the only way I can show that is when I get my hands on Usman, so I’ll just wait until that day comes.”
As for how important the UFC welterweight title is compared to his own hardware, Masvidal doesn’t downplay the significance of becoming the undisputed champion at 170 pounds, a status currently held by Usman. He and Usman have traded barbs through the media in recent months. After Masvidal’s 2019 campaign, where he went 3-0 with wins over Diaz, Ben Askren, and Darren Till, he is on the shortlist of challengers for Usman.
Usman, for his part, has played it close to the chest on his next fight, citing Conor McGregor and Leon Edwards as possibilities. Edwards and Usman fought four years ago, with Usman winning a unanimous decision, and Masvidal expressed his disgust at Usman for wanting to run that one back.
“It’s definitely important, because it says that you are the best,” Masvidal said of winning the UFC welterweight championship. “I don’t believe it some of the time, a lot of the time it’s just promotional stunts. In this case, I’m going to prove it. There’s a whole world saying that Usman will this or that, and me, myself, and I say he’s not the champ. I’m the champ, and I’m gonna prove it when we get in there. There’s a reason why he doesn’t want to fight me. He says he wants to fight a guy [Edwards] that’s ranked under me that he already beat. He says that’s a tougher fight.
“How many stoppages does that individual that he’s talking about have in his whole record compared to mine? You guys ain’t idiots, neither is the public. Usman can try to sell whatever he wants to the public, but people ain’t stupid man. You’re a f*cking idiot if anybody’s gonna believe this s*it you’re saying.
“You already beat that guy and he’s ranked under me. How is he a tougher fight than me? Explain. What do you consider a tougher fight? Me breaking your face, or you possibly beating him? That’s what I guess he’s thinking there, because he knows his time is up.”
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