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The Rise of Jorge Masvidal

With the BMF (Bad M***er F***er) title on the line, Jorge Masvidal (34-13) meets Nate Diaz (21-11) at the world-famous Madison Square Garden in New York City. Nate Diaz has been in the headlines consistently since his two bouts with Conor McGregor. Jorge Masvidal has main evented cards before but has only recently skyrocketed to the top of the news cycle with the fastest KO in UFC history over Ben Askren. However, Masvidal was poised for stardom just one fight earlier when he started his rise with a KO over Darren Till.

Story time, Jorge Masvidal was a talented, if underwhelming, mixed martial artist who first gained notoriety as a street fighter in Kimbo Slices’s Backyard. He would put on good enough fights with wins over contenders like Donald Cerrone and Jake Ellenberger, but would lose against champion caliber fighters like Benson Henderson, Demian Maia, and Stephen Thompson. Enter “the Gorrilla”, the UFC’s next big thing in the welterweight division, Darren Till. Till was poised to be the man who would bring balance to the division after a tumultuous and controversy riddled title run by Tyron Woodley and interim champion, Colby Covington. Till would lose the first meeting against Woodley and hoped a quick victory over respectable but unimpressive fighter Jorge Masvidal would give Till the rematch he felt he deserved. Unfortunately for Darren Till, nobody told this story to Jorge Masvidal.

A post shared by Jorge Masvidal (@gamebredfighter) on Mar 17, 2019 at 6:54am PDT

Three minutes and five seconds into round two is all it took to stop the Darren Till hype train. Till fell prey without any answers for the counters and explosive strikes of “Gamebred” Jorge Masvidal as a devastating hook lead to a highlight reel knockout of “the Gorilla.” Masvidal hit the fast track to superstardom but defeating a man on the brink of championship gold was only step one. Step two would be ending the undefeated streak of arguably the greatest wrestler ever to grace the sport of mixed martial arts, or at least the self-proclaimed greatest wrestler ever to grace the sport, Ben Askren.

A post shared by Jorge Masvidal (@gamebredfighter) on Aug 6, 2019 at 10:02am PDT

Five seconds, such an incomprehensible amount of time. Not much in life can be accomplished in five seconds. Again, nobody told this to Jorge Masvidal. Story time part two. “Funky” Ben Askren, One Welterweight Champion, Bellator Welterweight Champion, and the best wrestler not named GSP, was finally in the Octagon. As a former Askren stan, I personally wanted the funk, I think anyone who watches MMA wanted the funk in the UFC. Askren proved his worth by defeating “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler, the former UFC Welterweight Champion. Askren survived a near knockout early in the bout to grind out a bulldog choke finish of Lawler. Riding the high of his UFC debut submission, it was only fitting that Ben Askren meet the “next” next big thing in the welterweight division, Jorge Masvidal.

A post shared by Jorge Masvidal (@gamebredfighter) on Aug 7, 2019 at 10:10am PDT

Never one to mince words, Ben Askren would go on a path of verbal jabs that he felt would lead to a psychological advantage in the Octagon. This often-used strategy has played out in Askren’s favor on multiple occasions, but Jorge Masvidal is not the type of person who would sit back and take the jabs with his hands down, or words rather. Masvidal told CBS Sports’ “State of Combat” podcast,”I just want to f**k him up. I don’t think anything of him. I’m going to make sure his bloodline doesn’t reproduce or nothing after July 6. Extinction of the Askren blood by the Masvidal blood.” This back and forth lead to headlines that gave this bout more of a main event vibe than the actual main event. And true to his word (inability to reproduce not confirmed), Masvidal would enter the Octagon for the longest 5 seconds of Askren’s life. From a full sprint Masvidal leapt, knee first directly into a shooting Ben Askren ending the reign of one of the greatest wrestlers, earning “Gamebred” the fastest KO in UFC history, and launching Masvidal into the stratosphere of notoriety and popularity.

A post shared by ufc (@ufc) on Oct 28, 2019 at 12:02pm PDT

Five seconds is all it took Jorge Masvidal to become a made man in combat sports. Having done so has earned Masvidal the chance to meet fellow MMA powerhouse Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 244 which is the milestone 500th live card. The occasion is bigger than any single division championship so of course Madison Square Garden would be the only choice to hold the card. The BMF belt may not hold the history or legacy of a division title, but it holds the greater honor of proving just who exactly is the “Baddest M***er F***er” in all of MMA.■

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