UFC 217, which goes down on November 4 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, is one hell of a fight card. Topped by a trio of title fights, it could even be the biggest fight card of the year outright. Given the scale of the card, it should come as no surprise that a great many fighters were eager to shoehorn themselves onto the bill. Fourth-ranked UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal, who battles Stephen Thompson on the main card, is one of the fighters that was lucky enough to succeed in his effort to do so.
He couldn’t be happier about this fact.
“This is big, we’re in Madison Square Garden, we have to throw down,” Masvidal said on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio. “That is the arena of warriors. The blood, guts and tears that have gone through that arena… Just for that alone we have to put on a show of shows. Greats like Robert Duran won his first world title there. Ali-Frazier 1 happened there – it’s like what the fuck. If you’re ever going to die in an arena, that’s probably one of them to choose to go out in, and give it your all.”
“I don’t care about what performer performs where, rappers or things like that, but when we’re talking about Robert Duran, when we’re talking about Ali-Frazier… that boils my blood,” he continued. “Those are fights I saw as a kid and I was like ‘wow.’ And then when I joined the sport, I had put down Madison Square Garden as one of the arenas so I will fight before my career is over. Saitama Arena was one, in Japan – check. Madison Square Garden – check. I got a couple others to fulfill for my career before it’s done, but this is definitely one of the biggest moments of my life. Just the arena. Let’s say nobody was there, just me and [Thompson] and our coaches in that arena, it would still be fucking huge to compete in that arena.”
Do you think Jorge Masvidal will pick up a win inside the hallowed Madison Square Garden?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/21/2017.