Jorge Masvidal believes 2015 is his year. Then again, Miami’s “Gamebred” thinks that about every year. But he’s hoping that this one in particular will take him from cult hero to mainstream star, at least in the form of wearing a lightweight championship belt.
“As long as they put the names in front of me, I’ll take them down,” he said.
That’s the fighting part of Masvidal’s life; the part he’s figured out. Nearly 12 years into his pro career, the 30-year-old knows how to handle himself when the bell rings, and in 10 fights since 2011, he’s only fallen short twice, via close decisions against Gilbert Melendez and Rustam Khabilov.
As for the rest of the stuff that makes a star in pro sports, he admits that he’s lagging a bit behind his peers.
“When I grew up it was a different era,” he said. “I didn’t have all this computer technology, and I’m still not too savvy with it. So it’s hard for me to make that jump.”
So that’s the secret?
“That’s one of the big secrets,” he laughs. “It’s more of a popularity contest than who’s actually got the better hands and stuff. I think it’s because on social media I’m not posting naked selfies. I think that’s one big part of it, if I’m being honest. I think if I started posting more selfies, it would be different.”
Well, that’s a tough comment to follow, and it shows that despite not being as visible as some of his fellow fighters, he’s got the sense of humor and personality to be up there with those dominating Twitter and Instagram. And though he currently chooses to spend his down time in the gym, he knows that he has to “play the game” a little too.
“We could possibly fight four times a year, but you can be on that social media 365 days a year, so I’ve got to start taking advantage of it,” he said.
Then again, winning covers a multitude of social media posts, and with three straight victories, Masvidal is on the right track heading into Saturday’s co-main event against Al Iaquinta, and he’s confident that number four will be in the bank before Easter dawns on Sunday.
“I see destruction,” he said. “I wish the fight was tomorrow. I just want to compete already, get in there and fight. I hope that this dude comes to fight and not to shadow box and run. Hopefully, he came for a fight because that’s what I’m here for.”
Iaquinta is no runner. But that doesn’t mean Masvidal thinks the New Yorker is ready for him.
“I don’t think he’s ready for me now, I don’t think he was ready for me five years ago. I’m sure he’ll beg to differ, but we’ll see on April 4th.”
And after that?
“In a perfect world, I’ll have that title wrapped around my waist. In a not so perfect world, I set myself up for a title shot next year.”