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Can Jorge Masvidal really outshine Conor McGregor, or is he just blowing smoke?

Jorge Masvidal is in the elite company of UFC fighters who have become fan favorites without ever becoming champions. Well, that’s not quite true. He was, after all, the first ‘BMF’ champion of the UFC. Back in 2019, ‘Gamebred’ faced Nate Diaz on UFC 244. What made the American so popular among fans was his exciting, striking first bar brawler fighting style in the octagon, and his take-no-prisoner, at times even violent persona outside it. Let us take a look at the time Israel Adesanya and Joe Rogan discussed the turning point in the former BMF champion’s career.

Joe Rogan was joined by then-middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on episode #82 of the JRE MMA Show five years ago. During the podcast, they spoke about the freshly concluded inaugural UFC BMF title bout. This reminded Rogan of the shift Masvidal had in his mindset in the latter part of his UFC career that catapulted him to superstardom.

Rogan told Adesanya that Masvidal had realized that his career could have gone the other way if a few split decisions he had lost over the past few years had gone his way. This made ‘Gamebred’ realize that he should have gone all in and tried to knock out his opponents or die trying instead of dancing with them for the entire fight.

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“And of the things he was saying is like ‘all of these split decisions,’ and he was thinking ‘why did it go that way instead of the other way. Why did I lose the fight instead of winning it.’ Because there’s a lot of them that were really close. And he was thinking ‘maybe I could have done a little bit more and won that fight’. And then he said ‘why am I thinking like a f**ing peasant? Why didn’t I just knock that motherf***er out?'” Rogan said during the JRE episode. 

Poll of the day

Who do you think is the better fighter overall?

Jorge Masvidal

Nate Diaz

Conor McGregor

Joe Rogan

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This epiphany on ‘Gamebred’s part, Rogan felt, changed the trajectory of the former BMF champion’s career. Indeed, Masvidal went on a spectacular run in the UFC post-2017, which saw him become one of the most exciting fighters to watch in the promotion. A perfect encapsulation of this, of course, was his record-breaking five-second flying knee knockout of Ben Askren. Speaking in 2019, Rogan felt that the new and exciting, kill-or-be-killed version of Masvidal, who had just won the BMF title, had truly realized his full potential, which only few fighters are able to do.

“So that shift in his mentality changed. And all of a sudden he murks Donald Cerrone, he murks Darren Till, he murks Ben Askren, beats the f*k out of Nate Diaz. Like he’s a different person now. Now he’s what he could have been. He is potential realized. He’s at a 100%,” he added. This reminded Israel Adesanya of another move that showed how confident Masvidal was.

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Rogan on why Masvidal called out ‘Canelo’

Israel Adesanya was equally enthusiastic in positively assessing where Masvidal stood at that time, readily agreeing with everything Rogan said. ‘Izzy’ reminded Rogan that ‘Gamebred’ wanted to fight Canelo Alvarez, which amazed the then-middleweight champion. Masvidal, after beating Diaz for the BMF belt, had called out four-division boxing champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, declaring in an interview after his lone UFC title win that if the superstar wanted to “get his a** kicked,” he would be more than happy to oblige.

“He’s thinking about boxing Canelo, my man’s crazy,” an amused ‘Izzy’ had remarked. Rogan felt this was because Masvidal had a point to prove. ‘Gamebred’, Rogan told ‘Stylebender’, had taken a leaf out of Conor McGregor‘s playbook, and wanted to prove he too could successfully pull off what the sport’s biggest ever superstar did, and establish himself in the same league as the Irishman.

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‘Mac’, of course, had crossed over and fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a blockbuster boxing match back in 2017. And Masvidal, Rogan felt, had a similar plan. “His thought is like ‘I can do more than Conor McGregor did. And I’m not gonna fade,” the UFC commentator observed.

However, unfortunately, Masvidal couldn’t quite reach the same heights as the Irishman and is now out of the UFC. His boxing match against Nate Diaz also did not go as per the plan as he ended up losing the bout via majority decision. What are your thoughts about Rogan’s analysis of Masvidal? Let us know in the comments below.