On Saturday night, the UFC touched down in Denver, Colorado with UFC on Fox 23. In the evening’s co-main event, hometown hero Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone looked to extend his welterweight record to 5-0 with a win over the ever-dangerous Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal, however, had other plans. After very nearly finishing Cowboy in the first, the American Top Team staple put his his foe down with a series of hooks to the body in the second.
Just over 24 hours removed from this massive win, Masvidal took time out of his busy schedule to speak with Chris Taylor of BJPenn.com.
While many fans and pundits were shocked by the ease with which he thwarted Cowboy, Masvidal himself said the win was no surprise.
“Nothing surprised me,” he said. “I was ready from the moment the [opening] bell rang to the moment I forced the referee to stop it for a second time. I visualized this and everything I said—how the fight would go—ended up happening, you know? If you see all my interviews and stuff, you can call me a young prophet or something, because I prophesied everything I did.”
Masvidal then weighed in on the bizarre end of the bout’s first round, when referee Herb Dean appeared to stop the fight before the bell, but then allowed Cowboy to return for the second round.
“It was weird,” he said. “You could see it on the replay that Herb is stopping me two seconds before the bell rings. He’s already in my way, you know, obstructing me, and then the bell rings. So I ask him, ‘did you stop the fight?’ And he goes ‘no.’ So I go ‘ok, whatever.’ I walk away to my corner, my corner thought the fight was stopped, so it was a little confusing. I had to tell them ‘no, no, no Herb said it wasn’t stopped.’ So I just went back in and took care of business.”
When the second round began, it was clear that Cowboy was still badly hurt. Despite this, Masvidal says he approached with caution.
“I’m always cautious,” he said. “A hurt, wounded dude is a wounded animal. The animal in people can come out. You’ve got to respect it when somebody’s hurt, especially somebody like Cowboy who’s dangerous till the end. My corner gave me good advice. They said ‘he’s hurt still, so move with caution, but move on him.’ So we moved on him.”
From there, Taylor asked Masvidal what he would like next after this defeat of Cowboy – which many fans and pundits consider the biggest win of his career. Masvidal’s first order of business was assuring that while this might be the biggest win of his UFC career, he’s had bigger wins outside the Octagon.
“I wouldn’t say [it’s the biggest win] of my career, I would say in the UFC,” he said. “I’ve fought a lot of beasts outside of Cowboy. Don’t let the media fool you. These dudes that they say they’re that great, they’re not. You’re looking at one of the greats right here. The fake media news—much like our commander and chief—I’m going to stop addressing them. If people don’t start saying the truth in the media, yo f*ck all that man. It’s time for the real fighters to get a little bit of light, you know what I’m saying? I’m a real motherf*cker. I fight. I don’t even like doing interviews and shit. It bores me. I don’t like taking pictures, I’m antisocial. But I like fight. So you motherf*ckers listen, you want to see somebody that fights? Tell them to tune into me.”
“UFC, I’m making it great again.”
When asked again who he’d like to fight next, Masvidal touched on the widespread interest in a bout between him and fellow top contender Demian Maia. While he assured that he’d be willing to fight anyone that will push him closer to a title shot, he also said he’d be happy to get in there with Maia if that’s the fight he’s offered.
“I’m here to compete, and move as fast as I can toward that belt,” he said. ” The fans are going to see me get the hardest fights possible, those guys that I’m not supposed to beat, the guy that nobody wants to fight, as long as he’s in the top-5, I’ll be fighting him. I ain’t fighting no up-and-comer, no Ultimate Fighter winner. Nothing like that. I’m only going up from here.”
“I don’t give a damn who it is,” he continued. “I’m looking personally for the toughest fight I can get my hands on, whoever that is. If it’s Maia—I hear people saying it’s Maia—if Maia’s the dude that will get me closer to the title, bring that dude on. I’ll break his sh*t. He’s not going to take me down. People were shocked with my striking with Cowboy, people will be shocked with my wrestling [against Maia]. He has wrestling and jiu jitsu, but he won’t outwrestle me. So if Demian Maia wants to get that ass whooped, I’m here man.
Would you be interested in a Jorge Masvidal vs. Demian Maia bout? If so, who do you think wins? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/30/2017.