Jorge Masvidal throws a right hand at a downed Yves Edwards at BodogFight: Alvarez vs Lee in July 2007. Photo by David Singer.
It’s no secret anymore. Jorge Masvidal is one of the best young prospects in mixed martial arts.
After settling in with American Top Team close to five years ago, Masvidal quietly rose through the lightweight ranks, even picking up an impressive victory over current Ultimate Fighting Championship standout Joe Lauzon along the way.
Masvidal spent few years of his career fighting exclusively in the southeastern half of the United State before signing with a fledgling Bodog Fight promotion in 2006. After racking up two straight wins inside the Calvin Ayre-owned organization, Masvidal had his coming out party last summer, knocking veteran Yves Edwards unconscious with a devastating head kick.
“Looking back on it, that fight was huge for me,” Masvidal said during a recent interview session. “Yves was a such a big name and being able to get a win over someone as notable as him really jump-started my career. All of the hard work I’ve put in over the years paid off in that fight. Everything is falling into place now. This is actually one of the first fights where I’ve been the favorite going into it, one of the main attractions on the card. It feels good.”
Masvidal will now look to continue his winning ways later tonight at the Bodog Fight-sponsored “Strikeforce at the Dome” show, where he will take on hard-hitting Team Quest product Ryan Healy, who has won three of his last four.
“I’m really excited to get in there against Ryan,” Masvidal said. “I think this is going to be an entertaining fight because of the styles we bring to the table. We both like to stand and bang. Those kind of fights play right into my game. I’m comfortable anywhere the fight can go but I’m extremely comfortable standing.
A professional boxing bout and training with the likes of Din Thomas and Wilson Gouveia have certainly helped bring Masvidal’s striking to another level over time, but it was actually the streets of Miami where he perfected the craft, fighting against friends of Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and other respected brawlers.
However Masvidal has come to realize that the world of mixed martial arts is an entirely different world, evident by his understanding that his skills are going to develop over time.
“With other sports, you can usually get a feel of where your game is at compared to others by competing in the lower levels,” explained Masvidal. “While there’s some of that in MMA, there’s so much talent out there that it really doesn’t matter. You learn by trial and error and gaining experience fighting and training. Everything is going to come to me over time. It’s already started coming together now and I’m only going to become a better fighter from here on out.”
While Masvidal is getting dangerously close to breaking the barrier between him and a potential top ten ranking as a lightweight, he’ll need to pick up a win over a fellow contender in order to launch himself into the upper echelon in the division. However a win over Healy tonight will obviously be a step in that direction.
Next entry: Silva-Jardine Close to Becoming Official
Previous entry: Franca and Veres Released From UFC