- Leon Edwards has challenged Jorge Masvidal to a match – but there’s a catch.
- The British UFC welterweight wants to take on Masvidal in a street-fight, which would be fought bareknuckle and broadcast on the internet.
- Though Masvidal is coming off a loss to Kamaru Usman at “Fight Island,” a UFC analyst told Insider that the world is his oyster and he could have any fight he wanted.
- It is unlikely Masvidal would accept Edwards’ street-fight challenge, but if he did, it would take him back to his roots as internet brawls are what made him a cult hero in the first place.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Jorge Masvidal has been challenged to a YouTube street-fight.
Masvidal is renowned as the “Baddest Mother-F—–” in the game after bloodying Nate Diaz and winning the “BMF” belt inside Madison Square Garden at UFC 244 in New York City, last year.
But British welterweight Leon Edwards wants to know whether Masvidal is as bad as people think he is.
Edwards believes Masvidal’s status as the “BMF” is just a marketing gimmick, and if he was truly a “bad mother-f—–” then he would take him on in a bare-knuckle brawl at a location of his choosing, for no money, in an underground bout which would be broadcast on the internet.
“Has everyone realised the whole ‘Street Jesus’ hard man s— was all just marketing yet? And [Masvidal] is actually a s— journeyman? Or [do] people still think hes good?” Edwards asked on Twitter recently.
“F— it, Jorge, let’s fight [for] no money, [at a] mutual location. Film it, bang it on YouTube, [and the] public will see you’re a p—-.”
Masvidal once punched Edwards backstage, sparking a rivalry
Edwards, 29, owns one of the most impressive current winning streaks in the UFC. Since losing to Kamaru Usman in 2015, Edwards has eight wins in a row including victories over Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson, and Rafael dos Anjos.
The Nelson fight took place on the undercard of the “UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Masvidal” event at the 02 Arena in London, in March 2019.
After knocking out Till in England, Masvidal had another fight – this one unofficial – as he got into a backstage altercation with Edwards.
Explaining the incident to ESPN, Masvidal said at the time: “As I walk up to him, I’ve got my hands behind my back to signal I’m not coming here for problems, but he put his hands up and walks towards me.
“Well, where I’m from, if you do that, you’re going to punch me in the face. That’s not going to happen. So I gave him the three piece with the soda, and then just glide out of there.”
Here’s the backstage brawl:
Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards exchange words and punches backstage during the ESPN+ post-show pic.twitter.com/kYEkWxN8Io
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 16, 2019
You can see the cut Edwards suffered as a result of one of Masvidal’s punches, below:
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) March 17, 2019
Masvidal told Insider last year that the backstage fight with Edwards was “super satisfying.”
He then belittled his record of 18 wins (six knockouts, three submissions, and nine decisions) against three losses by saying the Brit’s not a finisher.
“On a personal level that was super satisfying,” Masvidal said. “This dude, all he’s been doing is talking crap. He’s not the type of guy who gonna go out and work you – what he does is talk about you, go to your boss and talk bad, say he do this, that, but he doesn’t … doesn’t finish nobody.
“He talk that s— about me, got put in his place, then said I assaulted him,” Masvidal told us. “The guy’s confused, obviously.”
A YouTube fight would take Masvidal back to his roots
Masvidal is no stranger to internet fights, and even cultivated an underground name for himself when he beat people up bareknuckle as a rugged, long-haired teenager in Miami at the turn of the millennium.
Masvidal recalled a phone call asking if he wanted to fight in Kimbo Slice’s backyard. “Hell yeah,” he said, accepting a fight seven days later.
The late Kimbo, a combat sports icon, recruited Masvidal – known at the time as “ponytail” – and took him under his wing.
Masvidal said it was all “hush-hush” and Kimbo said they “always have to keep these things on the D-L [downlow].”
The youngster beat a Floridian bouncer who was in his mid-20s. The fight entertained Kimbo so much, he demanded to see a rematch, which Masvidal won again.
Almost two decades later, after far surpassing Kimbo’s fame level, Masvidal once again accepted a fight on a week’s notice – this one far more significant – as he attempted to wrest the UFC welterweight championship away from Kamaru Usman’s waist at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi last month.
Masvidal came up short at the “Fight Island” bout, but has no shortage of options with the UFC analyst Jon Anik hoping a mega-match against Conor McGregor can be made.
“Any fight that Jorge Masvidal wants is at his disposal right now,” Anik told Insider.
Though wildly unlikely, should Masvidal pursue a YouTube fight with Edwards, he would be going back to his roots as internet fights are what made the fan favourite a cult hero in the first place.
Or, he could fight Edwards in the UFC and try and force himself into another title shot position.