The Baddest Man Alive? Jorge Masvidal Eyes the Title at UFC 244

The much-anticipated clash between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz didn’t have belt on the line—so UFC president Dana White made one up that fit just right.
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Jorge Masvidal

Jorge Masvidal is ready to be crowned the baddest man on the planet.

Masvidal (34-13) fights Nate Diaz (20-11) in the main event of UFC 244 this Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. Neither welterweight currently holds a title, so UFC president Dana White added another element to the fight by placing a non-sanctioned "BMF" title on the line as a special attraction.

“The winner of this fight is the baddest motherf----- they’ve ever seen,” said Masvidal. “So sh--, I mean, I don’t think I can elaborate on that anymore. I’m the baddest motherf----- there was, which is about, that’s what it says on the belt, BMF.”

The fight hit a road block this past weekend, when Diaz learned from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that he had potentially committed a doping violation. Diaz was incredulous over the news, and justifiably so: USADA later admitted that the potential violation was actually a plant-based daily vitamin.

During the weekend ordeal, Masvidal was devastated to learn that the fight was likely off.

“It was only 24 hours, I think, the totality of it,” said Masvidal. “The coaching staff got a hold of me and they were able to calm the anxiety down, and then we went about business. They stopped me in my tracks, you know, but now we’re all good.”

Masvidal’s last fight was a five-second knockout victory against Ben Askren in July. His professional career dates back to 2003 and he has competed in 47 different fights, though none against an opponent as uniquely dangerous as Diaz.

“Ben Askren had never been knocked out when I got a hold of him. The dude from England [Darren Till] had never been knocked out when I got a hold of him, and the list goes on and on.”

The enormity of headlining a major fight card is not lost on Masvidal. After a long career in the middle of the card, the 34-year-old is eager to leverage this fight against Diaz and catapult himself into a realm of stardom that extends beyond the UFC. He is also aware that merely a victory is not sufficient enough to claim that brass ring; Masvidal knows he needs a knockout.

“The only thing I’m trying to do is take this guy out of consciousness for a while,” said Masvidal. “That’s my job. That’s entertainment. That’s the only way I can get the bills paid.

“I did this sport for so long, and if you look at some of my masterpieces that I’ve painted in the past, people didn’t appreciate sh--. They could care less whether it was a decision, if I won or lost, they didn’t give a damn. All they want to see is pure violence, me put people to sleep in a very bad way, and that’s all I’m going to do.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will present the winner of the fight with the BMF title. The idea of standing beside The Rock in the middle of MSG is tantalizing to Masvidal.

“The Rock is an action star, man,” said Masvidal. “We met once in person at American Top Team, Dan Lambert had flown him out. This is maybe like five, six years ago. And I just thought, he didn’t know who the hell I was, and he was just a cool person. That was I think the coolest thing that he was just such a down-to-earth person, being who he was back then, and I was basically virtually unknown. You know, I was fighting already in the UFC, but nobody knew who the hell I was, and he treated me with the most respect.”

All that stands between Masvidal, the BMF title, and newfound fame is Diaz, who holds an elite spot on the list of MMA’s most dangerous fighters.

“This is a dude I definitely want to scrap with,” said Masvidal. “He’s always betting on himself and man, f---. I love that s---. We’re going to go to war and everything, but no matter what happens, I’ve got nothing but praise and admiration for Nate.

“I like what he’s done and how he’s carried himself. Kudos to him. Now, let’s get this fight s--- going on.”

Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.