There Are No Bad Options For Jorge Masvidal, BMF Belt Champion And UFC Made Man

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Oh to be Jorge Masvidal these days!

The winner of Saturday’s UFC 244 BMF title fight, Masvidal has become the hottest commodity in mixed martial arts after besting Nate Diaz for three rounds. His rise is exactly one of those “overnight sensations, ten years in the making” stories, and now Masvidal has some big options for his next fight, which, belt or no belt, will be for the lineal BMF championship.

Nicknamed “Gamebred” on account of his readiness and willingness to step into the line of fire, Masvidal has risen from the ranks of online street fighter to Pay Per View headliner, taking the long and grinding path from the backyard fights of south Florida to Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena. And 16 years into his pro MMA career, Masvidal has been annointed the sport’s baddest motherfucker, and has seemingly infinite options for another massive fight, with the type of paycheck only a BMF would expect.

But who will be next for MMA’s “Scarface” now that Masvidal has solidified himself as a combat sports gangster who finally has the money to go along with the power, flipping the script on the first two thirds of Tony Montana’s famous triumvirate?

There are just so many options …

A Welterweight Title Shot

The logical choice for Masvidal’s next fight should be the winner of the UFC 245 welterweight title fight between champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Colby Covington. It’s the fight that makes the most sense.

Already ranked third in the welterweight division, Masvidal has recorded three straight finishes in the division. Each stoppage has been against highly ranked opponents, including the fastest knockout in UFC history, which became an instant viral hit, propelling “Gamebred” into the BMF title picture.

Aside from the meritocratic validity of Masvidal fighting for the welterweight strap next, there’s also the bad blood angle, which always generate good numbers in combat sports. He could potentially fight his former friend and roommate in Covington, or a longtime south Florida rival in Usman. Both angles work, and both will sell … mostly on account of Masvidal’s name and starpower, which grew exponentially last week thanks to the rub he received from fighting a legend like Diaz.

A Rematch with Diaz

It’s not that there was really any legitimate controversy surrounding Masvidal’s third round TKO over Diaz at UFC 244, it’s that a doctor’s stoppage never quite has the emotional payoff. There’s just something anticlimactic about it.

With both Masvidal and Diaz publicly stating that they’d entertain a rematch, BMF part deux could be a big hit; however, it might be best for both fighters to take some time apart and rack up a few more wins. Especially since it’s clear that Masvidal won every round in the UFC 244 PPV main event, nearly finishing Diaz in the first frame.

Diaz is adamant about only fighting Masvidal or Conor McGregor next, and both options would be huge sellers. However, now that Masvidal has reached this next level of success, it will be worthwhile to book “Gamebred” against a different name to see how well his name sells as the A-side of a matchup.

A Bout With McGregor

For quite some time there’s been some talk of a Masvidal vs. McGregor matchup. It’s only natural for fighters with this level of brand name recognition.

It’s not that this fight wouldn’t sell, because it would, but McGregor has already stated his intention to return to the Octagon on January 18, and that time table is way too soon for Masvidal, who has expressed an interest in returning to action in April.

However, when McGregor teased his comeback a few weeks ago, his yearling plan for 2020 included a fight against the winner of the UFC 244 BMF title fight. So, if McGregor can win his comeback fight in January, a July bout against Masvidal could always be a possibility.

It’s a longshot, but can you imagine Masvidal vs. McGregor? “Gamebred” will have had the spotlight put in his direction not only due to his association with longtime street fighting legend Kimbo Slice and Nate Diaz, the UFC’s original BMF, but also the biggest name in the history of MMA. It’s actually quite befitting of a fighter who was willing to throw down, bare knuckle, on YouTube, scrapping in back alleys for the love of the game, before the seven-figure paychecks became a reality.

An Intriguing Longshot

There’s a fight out there that not too many people are talking about, but one that could eventually materialize between Masvidal and UFC middleweight champion Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya. Don’t hate this idea until you’ve considered it from every angle.

With the BMF title, Masvidal is not really tied to any single weight division, despite being a natural welterweight.

Masvidal actually spent quite a large portion of his career at lightweight, and while it doesn’t seem advisable for him to return to 155 pounds, he’s always been a pound-for-pound type of guy, meaning a jump up to 185 doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.

Adesanya is the leader of the next generation of UFC stars, and has his own type of BMF vibe and swagger. He’s also without a logical challenger, since Paolo Costa is now out with an injury. There has been speculation that Yoel Romero (Masvidal’s close friend and Cuban compatriot) or Darren Till could be the next contender for Adesanya, but neither option feels like a lock for the next title shot.

Masvidal vs. Adesanya for the lineal BMF title could be a great way to keep “The Last Stylebender” busy while grooming his next opponent.

There’s Always Canelo

A storyline that emerged after Masvidal’s win was a future boxing matchup against four-division champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who coincidentally fought on the very same night as UFC 244, beating Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title.

This is the least plausible of all the options, but Masvidal has always been a boxer first. He even went on record, back when McGregor was preparing for his blockbuster bout against Floyd Mayweather, to state that he’s always had his professional boxing license and would entertain a shot for a big fight in the ring.

Highly unlikely, it’s a fun fight to theorize, especially when you consider that DAZN, the digital streaming service that carries Canelo’s fights (to the tune of a $360-million contract), opted to delay Saturday’s main event at the MGM Grand until after Masvidal’s fight against Diaz on ESPN+.

There are no Bad Options

In the end, there really are no bad options for Jorge Masvidal, a fighter who was nearly finished by journeyman Daron Cruikshank in 2014 and took a year off in 2018 after a winless campaign the year before.

By winning in the UFC 244 main event, and claiming the BMF title, he’s become one of the UFC’s made men, a fighter with a brand name like McGregor, like Khabib, and like Diaz. He’s a gamer, he’s “Gamebred,” and can go toe to toe with anyone inside the Octagon, delivering brutally entertaining fights, the very type of fights that fans, both casual and hardcore alike, will shell out a few bucks to watch.