Tonight, in Jacksonville, Florida, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal will be gunning hard for the welterweight title in a rematch against defending champion Kamaru “Nigerian Nightmare” Usman at the UFC 261 main event. This high-stakes title contest marks the second time these two top-ranked fighters met in the Octagon, and although Masvidal is the underdog here, the American crowd favorite will be cheered on by many fans around the world. Here’s what you need to know about him before UFC 261.
Jorge Masvidal, aged 36, is an accomplished UFC veteran who made his debut with the league in 2013 (he’s been active professionally since 2003, fighting with multiple leagues including Bellator before signing on with the Ultimate Fighting Championship). He currently holds an impressive professional record of 35 wins and 14 losses; despite this, however, Masvidal has yet to claim a UFC title. In light of this, UFC President Dana White put a symbolic “BMF” belt on the line at UFC 244, where Masvidal defeated Nate Diaz via TKO to claim the unofficial BMF Championship. He has also won multiple Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night awards throughout his UFC career.
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Noted for his strike-heavy stand-up fighting style (only two of his 35 wins have come via knockout), Gamebred remains a big fan favorite who has faced many of the league’s top fighters. He currently holds the record for the fastest knockout in UFC history — an honor he claimed when he took out Ben Askren with a vicious flying knee in the first five seconds of round one at UFC 239. Aside from Ben Askren and Nate Diaz, a few of Masvidal’s most noteworthy opponents include Darren Till, Donald Cerrone, and Kamaru Usman.
Usman and Masvidal went toe-to-toe last July at UFC 251. There, Kamaru took the win via unanimous decision, successfully defending his welterweight title. That was Gamebred’s most recent fight (Usman went on to defend his belt again at UFC 258 this February), and there’s no doubt he’ll be hungry for the chance to both avenge his last defeat and to get his hands on a real UFC championship. This is a pay-per-view event, though, so if you want to watch UFC 261 live online and see for yourself whether the UFC’s BMF will finally take home the welterweight belt, now’s the time to sign up for ESPN+ and save $40 on the UFC 261 PPV. The main event begins at 10 PM ET.
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