If there are two things that should be taken away from this interview with top Strikeforce lightweight and star of Miami Hustle Jorge Masvidal, they are this: his fight this weekend with KJ Noons will probably be the fight of the night and Battlefield is better than Call of Duty. I’m sorry if you don’t feel the same way, and I know Chadd Griggs might think differently, but it’s the truth. Please accept it.
Jorge Masvidal took down the undefeated Billy Evangelista back in March and now he is poised to be the next in line to take away Gilbert’s strap if he can get past KJ. In this exclusive interview, Jorge enlightens us on his streetfighting past, machetes, and why he thinks KJ Noons will stop standing and shoot on him this Saturday, only at MiddleEasy.com.
You’re only 26 years old, you have 27 pro MMA fights and were an avid streetfighter, what’s your lifetime fight total? Oh total? Man, I don’t know, I have many more street fights than just the two on film but, I mean since I was little…I’ve been fighting. I have so many fights in the street. Counting street fights or even a party street fight? I don’t even know. You go out on a weekend and you might get in two or three fights just at a house party or a club. House parties, you gotta defend yourself. I had more than a couple scraps.
What is the best lesson you have learned in street fights that has transitioned to pro MMA? Well the best lesson I can’t do in MMA…
What is that? Always hit first! Sucker punch the guy hahaha, yeah. On the street there are no rules. You don’t know if a guy will pull out a machete or his friends are gonna hit you with a pair of brass knuckles, you never know. In the street you just gotta survive, it’s not like MMA. But just be tough man, people might be bigger or faster than you but you can’t give up, you can’t ever give up.
Wait, so has someone pulled a machete on you? Yeah man some guy tried to fight me at a house party so I kicked his ass. After awhile the guy and his brother showed up with a big machete knife. I saw them coming so I left out the back door and walked home 20 blocks.
Do you miss street fighting? Like the organized street fights or just like scrapping?
Both I guess? Well I don’t miss getting in random scraps, I don’t miss defending myself. As far as organized, it’s fun going out there and just throwing hands and going to kick some but but I don’t miss it too much. It may have been the beginning of my career but it doesn’t pay the bills so I’m not interested. The only reason I would do it again though is because I know the fans love it. That’s what the fans like, the bare knuckle, in the grass just throwing down style. I would do it for the fans.
How did you get hooked up with Juan Carlos Faraldo and American Top Team? Back in the day in high school I would wrestle during the season and box during the off season just because I liked it. I boxed at like, this little government funded gym. Then I joined a little hole in the wall gym that now is kinda big or whatever. I was doing my stand up at one gym, and I already had a foundation in my training going in, but they gave me an ultimatum while I was doing all of my MMA training at this place, like BJJ, to leave the other gym and come with them. So i said no. That door shut but it opened a ton of other options for me, so I joined ATT… then I had never done strength and conditioning, that’s where Juan came in. Now I’m getting in shape for fights the right way.
When Jorge Santiago, JZ and those guys left ATT down in Florida, were you part of the exodus? No I’m 100% ATT, I have nothing to do with that split. Those are my boys and are good, good friends of mine, Jorge, JZ, everyone we were sparring partners and beat the crap out of each other for four years, we got along alright. I’m ATT, they just had a falling out and didn’t see eye to eye, I don’t know the exact details, I know that as far as training things aren’t going exactly how they wanted, it just sucks that they couldn’t come to an agreement.
Where does the ‘Gamebred’ nickname come from? I was always a fan of pitbulls, not the dog fighting aspect of it, but just the animal is incredible. You ask them to pull weight and they will just do it and pull weight no matter what just because it’s bred into them, not to give up because of pain and fatigue. My brother was always the one who told me that I should use that nickname because back when I first started fighting, I didn’t have the technique, but I had that aggressiveness.
So even though you have a wrestling background, you are known as a striker…is it safe to say this match with KJ Noons will not see the ground? Yeah it’s safe to say I want to punch him in the face and he wants to do the same. It’s very safe to say that this fight isn’t going to the ground. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went for a take down. Every striker I’ve fought, bigger, faster, stronger: they have all shot for a take down on me. Not because I’m the most explosive puncher in the division, but it’s because I can frustrate people with my footwork and my defense and head movement. I frustrate them so they go for the shot. Every striker that has been called a ‘striker’ or a 1 dimensional stand up guy, has shot on me. I won’t be surprised if he shoots for a take down.
A lot of people thought that since this fight was originally on the prelim card, you and KJ got a raw deal. Are you under rated? Yeah you know what I am under rated. I had that loss to Toby Imada and I was supposed to win that fight you know? I think that set me back a lot. In Japan I had that fight where he hits me and sits me down. I wasn’t out cold or anything but as soon as my butt hit that canvas the referee got in. Good shot but I wasn’t hurt. Then I fought Paul Daley and I thought I beat him fair and square, they just didn’t give it to me.Some ups and down.
Well Strikeforce is a little different now, they say winner of this fight between you and KJ gets a shot at Gilbert, and Nick Diaz just vacated the welterweight title. Would you move up? Definitely. I wouldn’t mind fighting at 170 as long as I got paid cause I’m giving up a little weight at 170…Even if the money is just good I will go to 170…I got some buddies in that weight class but I wouldn’t mind. Other than that I would fight Nick Diaz, Paul Daley anyone.
Well Diaz vacated. Oh shit.
Yeah That’s crazy. I’m positive no one will be able to stop my boy Woodley though.
Would you be open to a Paul Daley rematch? Oh most definitely. Not cause I don’t like Paul, he’s a cool dude and a great fighter but I would love to kick his ass again man. I just, I thought I won that fight and it was on 3 weeks notice…I want a training camp behind me then lets go to war.
What’s the story behind you and Miami Hustle? Well we were all together already, but Genghis Con came in later and he and Juan had the idea and invited me to come along so I was like hell yeah. Genghis wanted to do a little something for my fight leading up to the Paul Daley fight so I guess he just saw something he liked.
So in the latest episode you are made out to be a pretty big Call of Duty addict. Are you a big gamer? Shit man, I’m like a ten year old when it comes to gaming man. I was just on CoD before I got to the gym today, going on there talking trash. I love that game you are going against real people and when you come in first place oh it feels so…ohhh.
So you are playing Black Ops right now? Some of my boys don’t like Treyarch they like Infinity Ward, so we play Modern Warfare. That and Street Fighter is big for me.
What do I have to do to get you to drop CoD and pick up Battlefield? Battlefield? What is that? I don’t even know what that is man.
Battlefield? Really? Yeah man, the thing is for upcoming games I don’t even pay attention, I don’t ever watch TV. I might watch some boxing or wrestling then play games. I never know.
You gotta expand your horizons, Battlefield is far superior to CoD Nahhhhhhhhh, man. No man, nothing is better than Call of Duty…(kinda long pause) Maannnn.
I swear to you I played CoD for years, Battlefield is the better shooter. It’s like a 1st person shooter then like old school or modern?
It’s currently modern warfare, but it’s more squad based and tactical with destructive environments. A more cerebral shooter than CoD (sounds genuinely impressed) That’s awesome. Battlefield 3? I’m gonna look at a preview of it tonight.
How is Jorge Santiago handling the loss to Brian Stann? Personally Ive been a little busy and I’m not sure if he is back in Florida.
What happened to your leg at the end of the Yves Edwards fight in BoDog?
In the first round I kicked him and he did a fucking amazing check he nailed his knee into my foot, not even on my foot but between my shin and my foot, that little gap there. He just nailed it and it hurt the nerves. At the end of the first in the corner it was swollen like a football and they were putting ice on it. So I go back out there and in the heat of the battle I threw more kicks and he checked em again and my foot was swollen man. It hurt so bad. He kept throwing this jab or something and I saw an opening, so I said pain or no pain I gotta throw this kick to counter. So I’m looking for it and looking for it, and as soon as I caught him and took him down and the ref stopped it. It was like all the pain just rushed in from like nothing to: I thought I broke my fucking leg.
As a Strikeforce fighter, what are your thoughts on the Zuffa purchase? I think it’s awesome, as a fighter, no one but like, me and you know this shit, the sport of MMA. When I talk to people they are like ‘oh you do that UFC stuff?’ No I don’t do that UFC stuff. I fight. Then I tell them I fight in Japan and they are wondering if it’s pro…yeah it’s fucking pro you asshole man. So it’s awesome to have the UFC and the brand to market you.
Any matchups you want from the UFC? You know it don’t matter. I want to clean out Strikeforce from top to bottom first. When the fans want it, the fights will happen. So I gotta just make the fans want it. I’m fighting who I want to fight right now.