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Cinthia Rodriguez El Observador

Cinthia Rodriguez
El Observador

Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal was like any typical kid running around in his neighborhood except he wasn’t into the usual sports. At a young age he discovered wrestling and boxing. A couple years later he was getting paid to do what he does best, fight.

“I didn’t have no options really, growing up. My only option was to fight,” said Jorge Masvidal during an exclusive interview with El Observador.

Cuban American, Masvidal remembers being part of the wrestling program in middle school, but that only lasted about three weeks. A year later he joined a boxing gym and he started his journey into becoming a professional Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter.

Masvidal (26-8 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is slated to face Daron Cruickshank (15-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) as the featured lightweight bout on preliminary card at UFC on Fox 12 on July 26 at the SAP Center in downtown San Jose. The main event features Matt Lawler vs Robbie Brown in a battle to determine the contender for the welterweight title.

“I don’t know him. I don’t know of him. I’m not even trying to diss him, but I just don’t watch fight videos of my opponents,” said Masvidal about his opponent. “I just like to focus on me.”

During season, the Miami native has a normal routine that includes a light jog in the mornings and hitting the gym twice a day. He has a whole crew that helps him prepare made up of trainers and sparring partners at American Top Team and Young Tigers Foundation.

“The thing that has driven me since I was a kid, the reason I got into this is being number one, to be the best, to hold the belt and say I’m the best guy at 155 lbs. in the whole entire world,” said Masvidal, former AFC Welterweight Champion.

While growing up, Masdival, who competed in Strikeforce before signing with the UFC, looked up to Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard. He’s has 10 wins by knockout (KO) and two by submission. One of his goals is to beat the reigning Japanese champion, Satoru Kitaoka by KO, and as many top 10 ranked fighters he can.

“I love it. I mean once I get out there, I know they’re watching and Spanish people can tell between each other. They might have never seen me fight but they might look at me and be he’s one of us, so it’s a good feeling,” said Masdival when asked about representing Latin fighters.

The new UFC fighter, considers God his biggest mentor. He also finds motivation in his family. He has two daughters and a son on the way. He’s proud of his Latin roots, speaks Spanish fluently, and likes to play poker.


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