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Top Level Sports

Is Jorge Masvidal just a journeyman fighter after all?

(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

Saturday night was the culmination of friends turned enemies. It’s a story as old as time. Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal were former training partners and now they hate each other. So it was time to fight.

Except it wasn’t much of a fight. Colby Covington absolutely dominated Jorge Masvidal. It wasn’t even close. There was only one point in the fight where Masvidal landed a big shot on Covington, but it was never followed up and Colby regathered himself quickly.

It wasn’t just the wrestling that Covington beat Masvidal at. It was his stand-up, as well. Colby’s biggest tool is his wrestling and everyone knows that. It leaves them open to getting punched in the face because they’re always preparing for a takedown attempt.

That was Masvidal’s third loss in a row. No one is holding it against him, though. It was against Covington, and the other two were against the dominant UFC Welterweight Champion, Kamaru Usman.

(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

But is he truly the guy the media and UFC pretend he is? He was always a middle-of-the-road kind of fighter up until he beat Ben Askren in record time with one of the best highlight reel knockouts of all time. That’s when people started talking about him turning his game around and turning into a contender. Masvidal then fights Nate Diaz and beats him via doctor stoppage after the third round.

That’s when he gets the title shot and it wasn’t even close. He took the fight on short notice, so everyone gave him a pass. He eventually got a rematch and got knocked out cold by Usman.

Masvidal was always a journeyman fighter before the little run he went on, so what’s truly changed? Let’s take a look. The three-fight win streak he went on was against Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz.

The Till fight was impressive at the time, but looking back, you wonder if maybe we jumped the gun on Darren Till because he hasn’t looked great for a while.

Nate Diaz is basically a .500 fighter, and way better at lightweight than he is a welterweight (which welterweight is the weight he fought Masvidal at).

Then there’s the Ben Askren fight — the one that truly put him on the map. It was just smart by Masvidal. He knew Askren was a wrestler and that he might go for a quick takedown, so he came out with a flying knee. It worked to perfection. Was it luck? Maybe. If he didn’t knock him out there, who knows what would have happened throughout the fight. Masvidal has shown that he can get ragdolled by wrestlers, as he did this past weekend.

The Diaz fight also had the big promotion of the “BMF” Championship. The Rock was even there to put the title around Masvidal’s waist, so that helped elevate him.

Being a journeyman isn’t the worst thing in the world. Jorge Masvidal has been a really nice fighter in the best fight promotion in the game. That’s nothing to hang your head about. He can still be like a Diaz brother where he puts on really entertaining fights and losing them may not hurt his stock. Hell, Nate Diaz’s stock seems to get hotter when he loses. As long as he gives you a couple of minutes at the end of the fight where you think he has a chance to finish, then that’s all the fans need.

(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

And just like Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal will probably never be in the title picture again. They will probably just try to find fun fights for him that the fans can get behind and leave it at that. But you know what? That’s okay. Not everyone can be a champion. There’s only one at a time, after all. It’s just impressive to stay relevant in the UFC for this amount of time. Masvidal can make his money and put on fights that people want to see.

But for the love of God, can we not put Masvidal up against a wrestler, please?

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J.T. Miller

J.T. Miller

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