Jorge Masvidal’s Career Before His Move Up to Welterweight

Published 04/23/2021, 12:44 PM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: Jorge Masvidal battles Kamaru Usman in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)


UFC’s BMF champion Jorge Masvidal returns to action this weekend as he challenges for the UFC gold for the 2nd time in his career in a rematch against Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.

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Masvidal moved up to the 170 lbs division of the UFC in 2015 after his controversial split decision loss to Al Iaquinta. Formerly a lightweight and a title challenger in Strikeforce, ‘Gamebred’ wanted to get rid of the extra pressure on his body due to the gruesome cut to 155 lbs. A stunning knockout of Cezar Ferreira proved to be the perfect start to his career in the new division.

Here we take a look at Masvidal’s UFC career before his eventual move up to the 170lbs division of the UFC. A former lightweight title challenger in Strikeforce, ‘Gamebred’ joined the UFC in 2013 after a decision win over Justin Wilcox.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: Jorge Masvidal battles Kamaru Usman in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Jorge Masvidal joins the UFC’s Lightweight division

Masvidal fought a tough veteran in Tim Means in his debut fight in the promotion. A decision win set the tone right for his run in the UFC.

A submission win over Michael Chiesa further raised his stock. ‘Gamebred’ was looking the make the score 3-0 in 2013 as he took on Rustam Khabilov. However, Khabilov managed to get a decision win in a back-and-forth contest.

Masvidal definitely proved his capability as a challenger in the 155lbs division of the UFC. Back-to-back wins over Pat Healy, Daron Cruickshank, and James Krause after his first setback in the promotion further elevated his stocks as a contender.

The American Top Team veteran next faced ‘Raging’ Al Iaquinta in a clash of contenders. Masvidal almost finished Iaquinta in the 1st round of the fight.

However, he seemingly took his foot off the gas in the 2nd and 3rd round by a bit. Iaquinta managed to land some leg-kicks on the Miami native. But Masvidal looked comfortable throughout as he was in full control of the contest.

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But 2 of the 3 judges scored the contest against Masvidal, leaving the majority shocked. ‘Gamebred’ was frustrated and decided to make a move up to 170 lbs. Masvidal didn’t want to put more pressure on his body as he was depleting himself severely for his cut down to lightweight.

Since then, welterweight has been the BMF champion’s home. He fights for the title at UFC 261 this weekend. Whether ‘Gamebred‘ can finally achieve the holy grail of combat sports remains to be seen.

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WATCH: Former NFL Star Chad Ochocinco Crashes Jorge Masvidal’s Press Conference at UFC 261

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Apratim Banerjee

705 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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