As Jorge Masvidal prepares to turn the page in his combat life, Danny Sabatello believes that “Gamebred” won the game of mixed martial arts.
Masvidal, Sabatello’s teammate at American Top Team, announced his retirement from MMA following a unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Burns earlier this month at UFC 287. The “BMF” champion realized he was no longer the same fighter who worked his way through a magical UFC run in 2019, and to a pair of world title shots the following year.
“Masvidal is an absolute, real-life gangster,” Sabatello told MMA Fighting. “If you know him, that’s a fact. He doesn’t really give a s***, which is kind of crazy, if it’s in the cage or on the street. That’s a guy that when he says something, you have to listen to him fully, because he actually means it. He’s also the nicest guy and the best teammate. A very loyal teammate.
“I remember one of my first weeks at American Top Team — when I didn’t even have a fight yet and I wasn’t really anybody and he was having these massive fights — we were done with our practice and he stayed after for about an hour just to help me, and we didn’t really know each other,” Sabatello said. “But he just did that only to see me get better and to try to help me win fights.
“He wasn’t a coach or anything at the time. He’s a guy that, once I got to ATT, me and him just kind of clicked. So we’ve been trying to help each other, trying to get each other better. He’s a very good friend of mine and I’m very happy with his career. I’m so happy that he got the fame and got the big fights that he did. It was very well deserved. He really is the BMF — the bad motherf*****.”
Sabatello is preparing for his own battle this Friday when he faces Marcos Breno at Bellator 294 in Hawaii. “The Italian Gangster” lookss to bounce back from his bantamweight grand prix semifinal split decision loss to Raufeon Stots at Bellator 289 this past December.
As far as Masvidal’s long career goes, it’s Sabatello’s hope that fans and pundits of the sport give the Miami star his flowers.
“A lot of these guys can have one good year, two, three good years in professional fighting, but it’s one thing to be in this game for 20 years and still fighting the top, top guys,” Sabatello explained. That’s something that really doesn’t happen too much. It’s something that really should be acknowledged. I’m very excited for whatever he has in store next, because that’s a guy that’s always gonna be successful.
“I don’t care what you say, what he did in that last fight, the guy that he fought [in] Burns is also very good and he stuck in there with him. He hung in there with a really good fighter, and that’s how he went out.”