Despite lobbying for the matchup for weeks with hopes that he could welcome McGregor back to the octagon after he suffered a broken leg in his last outing, Masvidal has a hard time believing the matchup will actually come together.
According to Masvidal, the lack of response from McGregor is all the proof he needs that the former two-division UFC champion might take a jab at him on social media but he’ll never ask for a contract to actually make the fantasy fight become a reality.
“No, Conor doesn’t want the fight,” Masvidal told MMA Fighting. “If he did he’d post something, he’d say something. He’d probably just insult my mom or some relative of mine or my nation where I come from. He’ll say something like that but he won’t say anything about a fight or a fight date. So the Conor thing, he just wants it ‘I hope it goes away’ because he really doesn’t want to fight. He doesn’t mention [me] or say anything.
“Obviously it’s maybe the biggest pay-per-view fight in history as far as the UFC goes. I think we’d shatter all numbers, all previous records. But for some reason this guy doesn’t want to entertain it.”
Because McGregor is by far the wealthiest fighter in UFC history, Masvidal knows money is no longer his greatest concern with the Irish superstar reportedly worth nearly $200 million but he’s exactly sold that fighting would be the biggest draw either right now.
That’s why Masvidal just doesn’t see the same ferocity from McGregor these days, especially when his name gets mentioned as a possible opponent.
“Money doesn’t entertain him no more, make him want to get out of his bed,” Masvidal said. “I think the only thing that makes him want to get out of bed is cocaine. That’s OK, every man has a free will. You do whatever you want. But don’t say you’re a fighter and don’t take cheap shots at me, especially the things that he’s been saying, talking about my legal problems and this and that.
“You’re a f****** p****. We could do it man to man in the cage and just once and for all and get paid a handsome reward while doing it. So if this individual doesn’t want to do it, [because] he knows what’s going to happen.”
Stylistically, Masvidal considers himself a really bad matchup for McGregor even if he doesn’t present the same kind of problems as say somebody like a wrestling heavy opponent such as past rival Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Masvidal knows he would stand toe-to-toe with McGregor until one of them falls over but the UFC’s first and only “BMF” champion doesn’t expect he’d be the one to crumble.
“I’m not going to take him down and hold him down,” Masvidal said. “I’m going to get in his face, I’m going to break his jaw and that’s not going to look good for his brand. Conor got beat up on the feet. Conor got outstruck.
“It doesn’t sit well with him or his team but if it did, you’d shortly hear him say something back to this. Because everybody’s going to be sending him this interview and what is he going to do?”
One situation that may be working in Masvidal’s favor for a potential fight with McGregor is the timing when the matchup could take place.
According to UFC president Dana White, McGregor is currently targeting a return to the cage in late 2022 or early 2023.
Ideally, Masvidal would like to fight again before the year is over but he also understands his current legal situation where he’s embroiled in an assault case with fellow UFC fighter Colby Covington might keep him sidelined longer than expected.
“That is my goal is definitely to be back before the end of the year,” Masvidal said. “So we’ve got to put our ducks in a row, make sure everything is correct. Some things are slightly out of my hands so I can’t say 100 percent I’ll be competing this year but if it’s up to me, 100 percent I’m competing this year.”
Just because he hasn’t been scheduled for a fight of his own just yet doesn’t mean Masvidal isn’t staying plenty busy with fighting.
In addition to serving as a constant presence at his home gym at American Top Team in Florida, Masvidal has also recently started to flourish as a promoter with his own bare-knuckle MMA organization called Gamebred FC and he’s now the head of IKON FC, which just announced tickets on sale for its first ever event in Savannah, Ga. on Aug. 5.
Masvidal is definitely embracing his time as a promoter because it not only allows him to work with up and coming fighters in the sport but he’s also one step closer to having every job the MMA industry could possibly ever afford him.
“I’ve worn all the hats in fighting maybe except actually be a cutman but other than that, I’ve worn every other hat,,” Masvidal said. “I love it. I love to fight. Since I got into fighting, maybe not in the initial stages, but after some time I was like I would like to have a promotion to treat fighters a certain way, take some of these things out, keep some of these things in there and keep it going.
“The opportunity came. I partnered up with some great partners to run these events and I said I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it full blast just like fighting. I’m going to put everything that I’ve got into it. I’m going to take out a lot of things I didn’t like personally as a fighter to go through and try to make it as easy as possible for these guys. Get them as much exposure and pay them as much as we possibly can at that stage.”
Get the latest gear
- 2023 Panini Prizm UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Panini Select UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- Islam Makhachev Walkout Jersey
- UFC Fanatics Single Glove Display Case
- 2022 Panini Donruss Optic Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Donruss UFC Retail Blaster Box
- Miesha Tate UFC Authentic Plaque
- Brock Lesnar WWE Home Sweet Home Collage