Jorge Masvidal was still in the middle of negotiations with the UFC on his next fight, but that didn’t stop the “BMF” champion from training like he was preparing for a return to action on July 11.
Despite a global pandemic forcing fighters to drastically alter the way they train, Masvidal was still spending as much time in the gym as possible as he helped his teammates and continued to stay ready in hopes that he could come to terms with the UFC.
With Dustin Poirier preparing for a fight this past weekend against Dan Hooker, Masvidal became a key asset in his training camp while staying ready for the opportunity to fight for the welterweight title against reigning UFC champion Kamaru Usman.
“He’s been in every day. He’s in great shape. He’s ready to go,” Masvidal’s head coach Mike Brown told MMA Fighting. “We had some great wrestlers in for him to train with. He was working with Bo Nickal and Cody Law, a couple of high level Penn State wrestlers. He was getting ready for the Usman fight.
“He was also helping Dustin get ready. They sparred a handful of times for this fight. Jorge is a chameleon. He can mimic anybody. He’s got a lot of tools to pull from so he did an excellent job of giving Dustin a good look for Hooker.
Ultimately, the two sides never found middle ground with Masvidal taking aim at the promotion for not paying him what he believes he’s worth while negotiating with a “take it or leave it” attitude.
Meanwhile, UFC president Dana White returned fire by pointing out Masvidal just inked a new eight-fight deal with the organization prior to his most recent fight in November 2019.
It’s tough to say what it will take for talks to resume but Brown is more than confident that once the UFC pays up, Masvidal will be more than ready for his opportunity to compete for the title.
“Masvidal’s there. He’s ready to go,” Brown said. “Once they come to an agreement, they give him the money he’s worth, then we’ll have a welterweight champ.”
According to Brown, Masvidal is the kind of fighter who puts in a lot of hours to make sure he’s prepared for whatever fight falls in his lap.
Even now with Usman set to face former teammate Gilbert Burns at UFC 251, Masvidal continues to clock time at the gym even if he may not fight next week, next month or even next year unless the promotion meets his demands.
And when he does finally fight again, Brown expects Masvidal to be even better than the version we last saw during a dominant performance against Nate Diaz.
“He’s a guy who also to his credit, he’s always developing new tools,” Brown said. “He’s always developing new weapons. Probably more than anybody. Sharpening his knives. Putting in the hours. Sometimes too many hours. He’s a guy who will literally be in the gym for four or five hours at a time working. He’ll do that on occasion where it’s too much but he loves long sessions. It shows.
“It shows why he can do a lot of different things. He’s got a lot of weapons in the tool box.”