Back in November, Jorge Masvidal captured the UFC’s one-off BMF belt with a win over Nate Diaz. While this BMF belt win represented a nice feather in Masvidal’s cap, it was not considered by many fans as a legitimate championship accomplishment. Chael Sonnen begs to differ.
Sonnen, an analyst for both the UFC and Bellator, believes Masvidal is an absolutely legitimate MMA champion — even if that fact bothers people. Sonnen points to Conor McGregor’s interest in a BMF title fight with Masvidal as proof of this reality.
“Many people act as though Jorge Masvidal isn’t a champion,” Sonnen said on his podcast. “Yes he is. 100%, he is a champion. If Conor sees that, and now Conor is adding credibility to that premise by saying you’ve got a belt and I want it, well, that’s why you have a belt, guys.
“Masvidal’s got that, and Conor wants it,” Sonnen added. “It adds credibility. It does frustrate me anytime someone says ‘Masvidal deserves a title shot.’ Ok great. Masvidal has a title. Please don’t forget that. [People say] ‘Well Masvidal shouldn’t be in such a big fight…Why does everyone keep saying that.’ Because he’s the champion. Masvidal is a champion. That just really pisses people off. It makes people upset, and it creates envy and jealousy. It still happened. It’s still reality. Jorge Masvidal is the BMF champion with a belt to prove it. We need to establish that.”
Jorge Masvidal does not currently have a fight booked, but is expected to be the next man in line for undisputed UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who recently defended the belt in a war with Colby Covington.
Conor McGregor, meanwhile, is scheduled to take on Donald Cerrone on January 18, and as Sonnen suggests, has expressed interest in fighting Masvidal thereafter.
Do you consider Jorge Masvidal a legitimate MMA champion?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/1/2020.