Jorge Masvidal is looking to upset Darren Till in his own country on Saturday night when the welterweights do battle at the O2 Arena for UFC Fight Night London.
Masvidal, Miami-born to Cuban and Peruvian parents, is the epitome of hard work and grinding.
The 34-year-old made a name for himself street fighting for Kimbo Slice over a decade ago and you can still watch those on YouTube.
Jorge Masvidal is a very dangerous welterweight
Now, he is headlining a UFC event in London against the number three welterweight in the world who is just coming off a loss while competing for the title.
Till submitted to Woodley in the second round without being able to land a significant strike, but Masvidal told talkSPORT during a chat at the UFC media day in London that the loss said more about Woodley than it did about Till.
“I think what Woodley did to Till, he could do that to anybody,” Masvidal stated. “He has that type of power where he can put him on his ass. So, is it a bad performance from Till, or just Woodley being Woodley f***ing taking care of business? I don’t want to judge him off that fight. I just want to say he got caught. He has good movement, he moves in and out, guys miss. He does put himself in harm’s way, but that’s how he gets the harm done.”
There seems to be mutual respect between the two fighters in the lead-up to this main event and that’s because both men just want to fight. Masvidal expressed his frustration at how UFC has turned into just a trash-talking drama, which seems to be the way many in the welterweight division – Colby Covington, Ben Askren etc – are making a name.
Masvidal inside the octagon
“He’s [Till] just a natural fighter and so am I,” Masvidal said when asked where there has been no trash-talking. “I can talk if I want to, but what am I gonna’ say? ‘Oh, you’re punk’ and then he calls my mum names – it’s f***ing childish, man. I get it. The 17-year-olds are eating this s*** up and maybe a little bit older than that. Maybe some people never got out of high school. If it’s not like a genuine dislike between two people and it’s not created either where it’s just that annoying s***-talking like ‘you’re an idiot. You’re so stupid’ – that is so stupid man,” Masvidal says putting a big emphasis on the word stupid.
“And the media… they stir that s*** up asking questions like ‘hey, so and so said you can’t dress’ – who the f*** is so and so? Why are you asking me on my interview about f***ing so and so? F*** so and so. My fans don’t even know who the f*** so and so is and they ask me about him all the time. I’m fighting motherf***ing three in the world. You think I give a f*** about number 37? Since I’ve been in this sport I’ve only tried to fight the best and once I got to a certain point where I’m like ‘alright, I’m confident in my abilities, I’m good enough to fight whoever it is in this world’ that’s all I’ve been trying to do,” Masvidal said.
“So people calling me out when I was in a reality show, knowing that I’m away, what the f*** is that? You know what that is in my country, in the Americas? It’s called blasphemy. You speak on my name when I’ve been fighting everybody… Who did I fight before this? Stephen Thompson. I think he was ranked number three of number four before this. What about before that? Damien Maia, who was on a hell of a fight streak and nobody wanted to fight him. Then after me, he went and fought for the championship. I only want to fight the best.
Jorge Masvidal used to be a street fighter
“It sucks that retards can just say your name and you guys [the press] make them famous because the fans eat up whatever you do. Maybe we could not f***ing do that? I think all the kids growing up, the guys that are going to be studs 10 years from now, some of them are thinking ‘man, the only way to get a good fight is to talk shit and call somebodies mum a prostitute and say that this country sucks and your religion ain’t s***’ and let’s fast-forward in to all that, it will be WWE. We’re already going to fight, man, we’re already going to test each other’s wills, we don’t need everybody talking. Not that everybody needs to be Georges St. Pierre, but it would be cool if just everybody would be themselves. We see the gimmicks on TV.”
When Masvidal was asked another question about reaching title contention, the veteran picked back up where he left off on his rant – but made a good point.
“Someone is going to get killed one day. We say the wrong s*** to the wrong player, you’re going to get f***ing popped. You know, we’ve seen instances with Conor [McGregor] and the Khabib [Nurmagomedov] stuff and that’s kind of mild, you know? It can get a lot worse than that. [Colby Covington in Brazil] He could have got murked over there. My friends ain’t professional fighters, but if a situation occurs, we’re going to win. I’m not going to get into details, but we’re going to win. I don’t do that, I don’t come from that, but if I get put in certain situations… believe me, I’m not going to be the one that’s left hurting. Seeing that’s it’s cool to talk shit and then you see them in person and talk shit, you kind of got to be careful, man. Not everybody grew up like you. Not everybody went to university and the hugged legs for a living and thinks like you – they might f*** you up whenever they see you. So, yeah, without incriminating myself too much, I’m going to fuck Till up and then go get the championshisp, that’s how I see this ending,” Masvidal says with a smile.
UFC Fight Night London
At the press conference to announce the card back in January, Leon Edwards and Till got into an exchange where Edwards claimed Till was ducking him and they took over the press conference. The famous trash-talking Masvidal hates was right in front of him.
With Masvidal sitting there unimpressed, we asked him if such disrespect motivated him to steal the show.
“Really, it just motivates me to have not even left my room. Why have I got these two dudes talking? I don’t give a f***. I want to be at the bar talking to some chicks, bro. I don’t wanna f***ing hear these dudes talking, they don’t pay me for these conferences, they don’t pay me for this s***. I could be getting to know some British chicks and a little action or something like that. Instead, you got these guys ‘yeah, you don’t know how to do this’ I don’t give a f***. I don’t give a f*** about that s***. That was cool in high school when everyone was telling jokes ‘oooooh aaaaah’ – I don’t give a f*** about that s*** now. F*** that, bro.”
One thing for certain is Masvidal is what you see is what you get and Till can expect every bit of him on Saturday.