Less than an hour from his hometown of Miami, Jorge Masvidal was able to share inspirational messages and answer students’ questions at Bair Middle School in Sunrise, Florida.
The South Florida chapter of the After-School All-Stars assembled in Bair Middle School and were treated to watching Masvidal’s second-round knockout of Darren Till before Masvidal spoke to them.
The kids cheered, gasped and laughed while watching the fight, and their energy carried over when Masvidal walked to the front of the room.
“It was super, super cool,” Masvidal said. “The energy they had, and I’ve done this a couple times with troubled youth, and it was a different group today, but it was still amazing energy. These kids were over-the-top positive, and it was real positive. They were stoked to have seen the fight and excited that I’m from Miami, the same places they’re from. A lot of us might have a lot of similar backgrounds, so I had a blast.”
After giving a brief talk about his journey and a little bit about how he got to the top levels of mixed martial arts, Masvidal opened the floor to questions, and a wide-variety followed.
From asking about his pre-fighting origins to his hardest defeats, the After School All-Stars probed Masivdal about everything in his life, and “Gamebred” obliged with humor and honesty, all while reminding the kids that hardwork and focus were keys to making dreams – from working at NASA to athletic hopes - come true.
“They need to seem themselves in someone to really let the message grasp (them),” said Sean Prospect, executive director of After School All Stars in South Florida. “They want to listen to their peers, but also they look up to people who are successful.”
This wasn’t Masvidal’s first time inspiring youth, and getting to use his platform and stature to give back to kids growing up in similar situations as he did makes it all the more special.
“I’m not going to be able to help each and every one of them,” Masvidal said. “Not all of them are going to see and identify with me, but the ones that do identify with me, that relate, it will help them out drastically. I had similar things happen to me in my life, so the ones that were touched by my story, my background, they will definitely see there’s a way out, and me just giving them the formula, read three and get to the final end, just know if you focus on what you want, you can achieve a lot of things.”
Masvidal is preparing for a fight with Ben Askren to take place at UFC 239 during International Fight Week. You can order that fight and every UFC Pay Per View on ESPN+.