Jorge Masvidal has a target in mind for his UFC return this year. Fans have repeatedly called for a matchup between jaw-jacking and jaw-cracking strikers Masvidal and Conor McGregor. Count "Gamebred" among those in favor of the fight.
Masvidal has not competed since losing a unanimous decision to bitter rival Colby Covington at UFC 272 in March. Masvidal was considered by many as 2019's breakthrough fighter after rattling off stoppage wins against Nate Diaz, Ben Askren and Darren Till, emerging as a premier personality in the process. Now sitting on a three-fight slump, Masvidal will not return until he is in peak form.
"This year, I'll guaranteed return," Masvidal told ESPN Deportes this week in Spanish (via an English translation by MMA Junkie). "I don't know the date yet. I think that with two fights, I can be in contention for the title or in a title contender fight.
"There are options, but the first thing that matters is me -- to be in the best condition of my life, to improve the fight. Everyone knows that I can throw the hands, the kicks, the knees. People know that they can't beat me with their hands, that they have to throw me into the fight. It's something that I have to improve and find the formula for."
Masvidal welcomed a fight against former two-division UFC champion McGregor. "The Notorious" one is rehabbing from a broken tibia in his trilogy fight with rival Dustin Poirier.
"He is false. He knows that I am a man who hits hard and that I come to kill. I do not come to hug in the cage," Masvidal said. "I am going to give everything inside me to kill him. I have a little size, although now he's shooting up and putting steroids and all kinds of things [in his body], but he is still a little boy.
"I would love to fight at 170 pounds, but I don't wait for anyone. If he wants to do it, I'll break his face. If he doesn't want to do it, let someone come next."
More UFC news, rumors
- Robert Whittaker vs. Marvin Vettori is officially back on. Whittaker vs. Vettori has been scheduled for the inaugural UFC Paris fight night card on Sept. 3, the promotion announced on Tuesday. The highly ranked middleweights were originally scheduled for a main card clash at UFC 275 on June 11. Whittaker pulled out of the fight with an undisclosed injury. "The Reaper" is coming off a very close decision loss to UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in February. Despite losing the fight, Whittaker after being viciously knocked out by Adesanya in their first fight in 2019. Vettori bounced back from a June 2021 loss to Adesanya by defeating Paulo Costa in October.