Saying Jorge Masvidal had an eventful Saturday in London might be a gross understatement. “Gamebred” marched into enemy territory pitted against hometown hero Darren Till in the UFC Fight Night 147 main event and scored perhaps the most significant victory of his long and distinguished career.
Masvidal and the Brit exchanged heavy blows in a fight where both men were rocked, but the Miami native emerged as the last man standing when he separated Till from his senses with a perfectly placed left hook in an early contender for “Knockout of the Year.” In a boon to Masvidal’s bank account, he was awarded post-fight bonuses for “Performance of the Night” and “Fight of the Night.”
Afterward, the American Top Team product made the usual winner’s media rounds, which included an interview with reporter Laura Sanko when the situation spiraled out of control. Masvidal was answering Sanko’s questions live on the ESPN+ post-fight show when co-main event winner Leon Edwards began to bark in his direction about a possible matchup between the two in July. Masvidal, apparently upset with something Edwards said, answered back: “Why don’t you say that to my face?” He then moved towards the Englishman to confront him. As a face-to-face encounter with Edwards neared, Masvidal threw a flurry of strikes at the British fighter before the two were separated by others surrounding them.
“Gamebred” spoke with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto after the altercation and stated that he gave Edwards “the three piece with a soda.” Masvidal blamed Edwards for the physical altercation, as he claimed he was merely going to talk to him but believed he was about to be struck when the former British Association of Mixed Martial Arts champion lifted his hands.
“It’s on video,” Masvidal said. “I’m defending myself. This hooligan was threatening my life, my wellbeing. I was scared, man. Maybe I didn’t look it because I’m pretty damn cold-blooded, but I was scared out of my mind. I said, ‘This hooligan here is going to assault me. He’s going to take everything I got.’ He shouldn’t have done that. He shouldn’t have put his hands up and walked towards me like he was going to punch me.”
Edwards, who extended his winning streak to seven fights with a split decision over Gunnar Nelson, took to social media to address the incident.
“Jorge, fair play sneaking your shots in when you could, but now you’re f---ed,” Edwards posted on his Instagram. “If security wasn’t there, you wouldn’t have made it back to the US. I’ll see you soon.”
‘My Kids Got to Eat’
A fired-up Masvidal called for a title shot with Kamaru Usman during his post-fight Octagon interview with commentator Dan Hardy. It was a surprising request when considering that Masvidal’s training partner, Colby Covington, has been on the sidelines waiting for his own crack at welterweight gold and is expected to be next in line. Okamoto spoke with Masvidal about the idea of passing over Covington.
“Over everything, over friendships, [over] anything is my kids,” Masvidal said. “Obviously, fighting for that belt is my kids’ future. I don’t care. It doesn’t sound too nice, but if my mom had the belt, she has to give it up because my kids got to eat. If I’m willing to fight my mom, imagine a good friend. It’s no disrespect to Colby. I think he did great things in the sport. He’s still young and going to do many good things, but if they offer me the title shot, damn right I’m taking it.”
Usman’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, who joined the newly minted welterweight champion in attempting to fight Covington in a casino the day after UFC 235, appears to agree that Masvidal should be next to challenge for the belt: “We think Jorge Masvidal deserves the next title shot, not Colby Covington. Colby is a terrible person and doesn’t deserve it. Jorge just knocked out Darren Till like that. He should be next.”
A Meatball for ‘Meatball’
Despite picking up her first Ultimate Fighting Championship win, Molly McCann did not escape unscathed. In the third round of her fight against Priscilla Cachoeira, McCann was hit by a bone-crushing right hand that caused an extremely large hematoma to develop over her left eye. The swelling allowed McCann to live up to her “Meatball” nickname, as it appeared as though she had one growing on her face.
McCann announced on her Instagram that she had suffered a broken orbital bone and had undergone successful surgery to repair the damage.