On Saturday night, two of the UFC’s top welterweight contenders will step onto the mats for a charity grappling match as Jorge Masvidal takes on Anthony Pettis.
Speaking on soon-to-be-released episode of BJPenn.com Radio, Masvidal broke down this grappling showdown with Pettis. He says accepting a grappling match for a good cause was simply a no brainer. He grapplers in the gym most days anyway.
“Well, I like to grapple,” Jorge Masvidal began. “I’ve been wanting to grapple for a while and I really haven’t told too many people about it. And my manager’s trying to ding me and he’s like, ‘Hey, this charity reached out to me. They’re putting together an event, you know’. First he told me what it’s going to support, and that’s to get kids from troubled areas, not such great areas, that can’t afford the gym, they put them in the gym, they buy the membership. They just give them something to do. Man, I was instantly sold, you know. I was like, ‘f**k yeah I got to be a part of that, bro.’ If this is what’s going on then count me in, you know.
“So, then my manager started looking at who I could possibly grapple and then Anthony Pettis came up and I was like, ‘wow perfect.’ I thought I would be grappling against a straight grappler or something. And it might not generate the same type of buzz with against Pettis which is a known, known fighter. And he’s a star grappler, I mean, he’s submitted some tough guys that are not easy to submit. So, it’s going to be fun man. I’m going to have a blast. It’s pretty cool man. I can’t not be apart of it. And I think when a lot of the other fighters find out about it I think it just be like a trend of a lot of guys just competing and give back. It’s a way I can give back that is so amazing, you know. Because, man this is what I do on a regular day. I’m going to grapple for 10 minutes. I do it every day times 10, you know.”
Jorge Masvidal continued, breaking down the matchup itself. He sees Pettis as a solid grappler, though not quite the same level of grappler as his UFC 229 opponent Ben Askren.
“It’s 10 minutes and if there’s no submission then it’s declared a draw,” he said. “They kept it real simple, real basic. I think it’s pretty cool, you know. We’re just going to go out there and compete.
“Pettis I think is completely different than Ben. Because Ben is not like a submission dude especially off his back. Pettis has good submissions of his back. He’s not the best wrestler but he could grapple good. I just think it’s just — I see it as a practice run in the gym that’s going to be recorded and televised, you know.
“It’s just going to be another regular 10 minute go at the gym, you know. I like the whole idea on testing myself begin. Whether it be with a UFC fighter, that’s a good grappler or straight grappler, we’ll test the waters after this one and see how it works out. If I’m able to get kids to go to the gym because of this, bro I’m sold man.
“Like I said to me it’s not like hard work, this is what I do every day for me to grapple. Me to wrestle all day long, it’s no biggie, you know. If I’m just going to do this for 10 minutes, let’s do it.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Jorge Masvidal and Anthony Pettis meet on the grappling mats tomorrow night?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/14/2019.