UFC “BMF” champion Jorge Masvidal would love to get his hands on Conor McGregor next.
Despite saying on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday that the fighter was leaning toward a different option, Masvidal revealed to Heavy the following day that he’d still be more than happy to have next crack at McGregor should the opportunity present itself.
“It’s a fight that me and my team are open to,” Masvidal said. “We’re willing to take it.”
Masvidal attended UFC 246 in Las Vegas over the weekend to see McGregor’s stunning 40-second drubbing of Donald Cerrone. The 35-year-old said he had hoped to get some good news after the fight about potentially facing McGregor next, but that it didn’t happen.
“We were there as fans and if we got called up to compete, hey awesome,” Masvidal said. “If we didn’t, at the same time, it doesn’t matter. My next option is not so bad. I get the fight for the world championship at 170 pounds.”
Beyond possible facing McGregor, Masvidal appears to be the next potential opponent for UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Is UFC President Dana White the Problem?
Is UFC president Dana White the main impediment to making Masvidal vs. McGregor happen?
White has been vocal about McGregor not being big enough to seriously compete at 170 pounds, and equally vociferous about desiring to get McGregor signed to a lucrative rematch against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov over any other future fights.
Masvidal admitted that while many fans and media would love to see McGregor face Masvidal next, even potentially over McGregor’s return to the lightweight division, Masvidal wasn’t so sure anyone beyond him and possibly McGregor within the UFC actually wanted to see the fight happen.
Rather, the UFC might not want to make that fight happen next.
“Fans want to see that (McGregor vs. Masvidal fight). But the way I think, especially as Dana sees it, is like Conor is his golden cow,” Masvidal said. “So maybe he doesn’t get Masvidal with Conor. But he feels they could probably get more for sure victories for Conor, taking him other routes, I think, before taking him mine.”
White told the media after UFC 240 last year that Masvidal was “too big” for McGregor. Judging by the fighter’s own comments on the matter, McGregor doesn’t seem to think that’s true, and his dominant performance over Cerrone at UFC 246 also suggests otherwise.
Still, Masvidal said he wasn’t so sure White is convinced yet.
“And Dana has been very vocal about that since the beginning,” Masvidal said. “He doesn’t think Conor’s chances against me are too good. Maybe they don’t get the biggest paycheck with me versus Conor. But I figured that he gets a good amount of paycheck if Conor goes and beat other enemies, foes, whatever they call them, beforehand…”
Whatever the case, Masvidal reaffirmed his willingness to fight McGregor.
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McGregor’s Next Fight Not Really Masvidal’s Call To Make
Regardless, Masvidal said he wouldn’t be chasing McGregor around the world trying to make the fight happen. That’s just not the fighter’s style.
Facing McGregor is something Masvidal has already expressed interested in doing, so he said he’ll let McGregor make the decision about what’s the best move for the Irishman’s MMA career going forward.
“It’s more on his team if it will happen,” Masvidal said. “If they want the fight, we’re here to make history. If not, we’re going to quickly move on to the next best thing. Time waits for no man.”
Still, Masvidal did seem a little miffed that he might be so close to getting such a huge opportunity only to see it slip away. The inaugural “BMF” champion enjoyed a stellar 2019 campaign, and facing McGregor would certainly have given him the chance to do even bigger things this year.
“It’s a little frustrating because I’m not getting a certainty, a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’,” said Masvidal. “That maybe sucks for me. But, we’ll be getting news shortly. We’re not pressed for time right now, but I do want to get in there.”
But whoever Masvidal faces next, whether McGregor, Usman or someone else, the fighter said he’d be more than ready by that point in time to deliver some serious violence to his opponent inside the Octagon.
Masvidal hasn’t fought in the UFC since defeating Nate Diaz at UFC 244 in November, and it appears he’s itching to get back to it.
“The tiger is getting hungry already,” Masvidal said. “It’s got to get fed. So I’m ready to come in. We’re going to have some news on big things, maybe within a week to two weeks, on what direction I’ll be taking.”
Where Masvidal vs. McGregor Is Happening Regardless
It does appear though that Masvidal is intent on challenging McGregor in at least one way in 2020 no matter what happens as far as negotiations go between the two camps for an actual fight.
The fighter announced part ownership in Recuerdo Mezcal, a popular distilled alcoholic beverage from Mexico made from agave, which will be initially available in Texas, California, and Florida with plans to roll out to other places soon.
So Masvidal’s Recuerdo Mezcal vs. McGregor’s Proper Twelve Irish whiskey on liquor store shelves is at least one way the two popular UFC fighters will be able to compete against each other in 2020.
It might not be the fight fans crave, but it could be considered some early promotion for whenever the two fighters finally do get their hands on each other.