Gaethje secured the ceremonial belt on July 29 when he knocked out Dustin Poirier with a head kick to close out UFC 291 around three-and-a-half years after Masvidal hoisted the championship at UFC 244 when he bested Nate Diaz via doctor’s stoppage.
“Gamebred” retired from mixed martial arts earlier this year following his fourth straight loss since becoming the organization’s “Baddest Motherf*****.” But, while speaking with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi in an interview published on August 31, Masvidal declared a fight with the man holding his old belt enticed him.
“I think he should defend it against me at 170 [pounds] if you ask me,” Masvidal laughed when asked if Gaethje should put the BMF belt up for grabs in his next outing. “That’s what should happen if I was to come back to the sport, you know? That’s a big ‘if.'”
“I never knock off coming back to fighting because I love fighting,” he continued. “It’s my favorite pastime, it’s my favorite sport. It’s my way of life. So, I can never say I’m not going to fight.”
Jorge Masvidal Praised Justin Gaethje’s Fighting Spirit
Gaethje is currently ranked No. 2 in the lightweight division and he sit behind former 155-pound king Charles Oliveira who occupies the top spot. “Do Bronx” and current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev are slated to rematch at UFC 294 on October 21.
And although nothing is official, Gaethje could find himself fighting the winner considering where he stands in the talent-packed division.
But, whether he waits for a title fight or takes on another contender next, Masvidal said he believes Gaethje will take on anyone the UFC throws in front of him.
“I think Gaethje should just stay active,” Masvidal said. “Fight, keep fighting, stay competing, stay fighting the world’s best because that’s what the baddest motherf***** is supposed to do. Take them all on, you know? I never said I’m not fighting this guy because he’s a high-level grappler, this guy because he’s a better striker than me.
“It’s like, one or all, they’re all the same to me. Gaethe pretty much has that attitude. That’s why he’s a bad motherf*****. He’s not ducking nobody. That guy will literally fight anybody — wrestler, striker, jiu-jitsu guy. He takes them all. And that’s a big requirement.”
Masvidal Attempted to Become the Undisputed 170-Pound Champion Twice After Winning the BMF Strap
If Gamebred never fights again in mixed martial arts then his last official professional victory was his BMF-winning effort against Diaz in November 2019. But, he can hang his hat on the fact that he competed for undisputed welterweight gold twice before it was all said and done.
He received back-to-back opportunities to dethrone then-king Kamaru Usman. They fought at UFC 251 in July 2020 and Usman came out on top by unanimous decision. However, considering Masvidal only had around a week’s notice to prepare for the bout — Gilbert Burns had to pull out of his fight with “The Nigerian Nightmare” —the promotion gave him another crack.
But, as history has it, Usman knocked out Masvidal at UFC 261 in April 2021. What followed for Masvidal was two more unanimous decision defeats at the hands of Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns.
His loss to Burns at UFC 287 in April was the catalyst for his retirement.