Jorge Masvidal is just over a month away from the biggest fight of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. The veteran welterweight will meet Demian Maia at UFC 211 on May 13 from Dallas, Texas, in what can only be considered a No. 1 contender’s bout. Despite Maia’s grappling accolades and recent dominant victories over Carlos Condit, Matt Brown, Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson, “Gambred” believes he can roll with the Brazilian once the action hits the canvas.
“Just how people were surprised about my striking against Cowboy, they’re going to be even more surprised by my grappling in this fight,” said Masvidal during recent interview with BJ Penn Radio. “You can’t beat a guy like Maia unless you can grapple at that level. And most of the dudes – especially the guys he’s fought – are not at that level of defensive wrestling or defensive jiu jitsu to beat him. I know that I am. I know that in every position we could come to in MMA, I’m going to out-position this guy. I’m going to out-will him, and then he’s going to give in to the fatal blow.”
While Masvidal sports one of the more well-rounded ground games in the 170-pound division, having been submitted just twice in 46 professional fights, Maia is in a league of his own. The jiu-jitsu wizard has only gotten better with age and has sliced through top competition over the past two years. But Masvidal’s confidence is high, as he even predicted to hand Maia his first loss via stoppage since 2009.
“I’m going to kick his ass, really bad,” said Masvidal. “It doesn’t make it through the third round. I don’t know if it’s the first, I don’t know if it’s the second, but it doesn’t make it through the third.”
If “Gambred” is able to stop Maia’s six-fight win streak and improve his own to four, there’s no denying that the former street fighter deserves a shot at company gold.
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