Back in January, UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal scored a career-altering knockout win over the streaking Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. This win sent the American Top Team staple rocketing up the UFC welterweight rankings.
In the wake of this win, Masvidal quickly began calling for a fight with top welterweight contender Demian Maia. While Maia initially seemed reluctant to accept this fight, stating that he would prefer to wait for a shot at the title, he eventually signed on the dotted line. The two welterweights will go at it on the main card of UFC 211 this May 13.
“He’s a man,” Masvidal said of his UFC 211 foe. “I take my hat off to him for accepting the fight. That’s real manly of him. I don’t know what other reasons it could have been. I don’t know what was said to him behind closed doors, or if anything was even said. All I can say is my hat’s off to him for taking the fight.”
“It’s good that he wanted to get it crackin’.”
While Masvidal respects his upcoming foe, however, he feels he has all the tools to defeat him – tools many of Maia’s previous opponents lacked.
“Just how people were surprised about my striking against Cowboy, they’re going to be even more surprised by my grappling in this fight,” he said. “You can’t beat a guy like Maia unless you can grapple at that level. And most of the dudes – especially the guys he’s fought – are not at that level of defensive wrestling or defensive jiu jitsu to beat him. I know that I am. I know that in every position we could come to in MMA, I’m going to out-position this guy. I’m going to out-will him, and then he’s going to give in to the fatal blow.”
This confidence, Masvidal explained, can be attributed in large part to regular training with grappling-based south paws like Colby Covington and Nathan Coy.
“It just happens to be that my partner that I go with the most just happens to be a south paw that’s a really good wrestler and a really good grappler,” he said. “Two of them actually, Colby Covington and Nathan Coy.”
Jorge Masvidal wrapped up his segment on BJ Penn Radio by offering up a prediction for his fight with Maia. His confidence shone through once again:
“I’m going to kick his ass, really bad,” he said. “It doesn’t make it through the third round. I don’t know if it’s the first, I don’t know if it’s the second, but it doesn’t make it through the third.”
How do you think UFC 211’s Jorge Masvidal vs. Demian Maia fight will go? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/30/2017.