Masvidal suggests that the UFC booked him against Demian Maia because they want the Brazilian eliminated from the title picture.
Jorge Masvidal has been competing in the UFC for almost four years and has been in the fight game — in some form or another — for most of his life, but it wasn’t until January’s UFC on FOX 23 card that ‘Gamebred’ finally got his big break.
Masvidal, who is riding a three-fight win streak, battered fan favorite Donald Cerrone in his hometown of Denver, Colorado, beating ‘Cowboy’ to the punch and earning the TKO stoppage in the second round.
The 32-year-old will now take on No. 3 ranked welterweight Demian Maia, who many believe should have been granted a title shot after his first-round submission of Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX 21.
Masvidal suggested that the UFC don’t really want Maia in the title picture, and so they turned to him as their unofficial hitman.
“He’s on a six fight winning streak, and he’s beaten some good guys,” Masvidal told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, per MMA Fighting. “So, if they had told me that Demian was fighting for the title and I was fighting somebody else, and then I would fight for the title, as long as that somebody else was the next closest thing to the title, I wouldn’t have cared. As long as I had the next closest thing to a title. So I don’t feel bad for him. At the end of the day, he’s going to get a paycheck.”
“Because they did the math, the ancient secret math,” he said when asked why the UFC selected him to fight Maia. “They’re looking at me and going, yo, this guy is complete bro, in all f*cking areas. We could use this guy to eliminate the guys that we don’t like. So maybe Masvidal, we can’t push him that much, but we could use him to eliminate the others, because this guy for real. He’s a bad guy.”
Masvidal catapulted to No. 5 in the UFC welterweight rankings after his win over Cerrone and says that his goal is to fight for the title, even it means squaring off with current champion and teammate, Tyron Woodley.
“We used to train a lot together when we were both in Strikeforce, like a lot,” he told Ariel Helwani. “We’re buddies, and we’ve always been cool since day one. That’s not the dude that I want to fight, you know what I’m saying? But when it comes for the belt, it’s different. I didn’t get into this to high-five people. I got in this to [beat people up].”
Masvidal is expected to take on Maia on the stacked UFC 211 pay-per-view, which is set to take place on May 13 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.