Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal is coming off the fastest knockout in UFC history at UFC 239 in Las Vegas. Masvidal, riding high off his flying knee TKO of Ben Askren, believes he should be next in line for the welterweight title.
Masvidal on The Dan LeBatard Show: “Definitely the title, definitely Kamaru Usman interests me. He’s got the title and that’s what I want but he’s always having injuries and things are happening.”
With Dana White recently shooting down the idea of a possible fight with Conor McGregor, who should he fight if the Usman fight doesn’t happen?
Santiago “Gente Boa” Ponzinibbio
Winning streak: 7
Key wins: Gunnar Nelson, Neil Magny, Mike Perry
ESPN welterweight rank: 8
Ponzinibbio’s name doesn’t come up often on the short list of top welterweight contenders. The Argentina native has won seven in a row (four of those seven victories during this streak were by KO/TKO). Within the welterweight division only Usman and Edwards have better win streaks. Ponzinibbio puts on exciting fights and he normally finishes them. Ponzinibbio knocked out Neil Magny last November but has yet to be booked again.
A win over Ponzinibbio would be another quality win on “Gamebred’s” resume.
Winning streak: 0
Key wins: Demian Maia, Darren Till, Robbie Lawler, Stephen Thompson
ESPN welterweight rank: 2
Woodley withdrew from his rematch with Lawler at UFC Minneapolis in June due to a lingering injury in his hand. Woodley lost the welterweight title to Usman in March after holding the title for nearly three years. He thinks his name should be in the conversation for a title shot, because he was a long-term champ. He’ll likely need at least one more win to get back there and I think a win over Masvidal would be a step in the right the direction.
If Masvidal were to beat Woodley, this would no doubt put him in a title fight sooner rather than later.
Winning streak: 6
Key wins: Rafael dos Anjos, Demian Maia
ESPN welterweight rank: 8
If Covington beats Lawler, this fight will not happen because Colby should be facing Usman in a welterweight title fight before the end of the year. Covington is one of the most disliked fighters in the UFC because of his drummed-up attention and unapologetic trash talk, but he did win the interim championship and should have received a title shot last year. If he loses to Lawler, a fight with Masvidal would catapult him back into the title picture. On the other hand, a fight with Covington doesn’t really do anything for Masvidal as Colby would most likely be ranked under him. The build up to the fight could be epic as these guys can trash talk with the best of them.
“Gamebred” would have a top-notch win over a guy that previously held a piece of the welterweight title.
I think the fight UFC fans want to see is Jorge Masvidal versus…
Winning streak: 8
Key wins: Rafael dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson
ESPN welterweight rank: 10
Edwards’ most recent loss to Usman in 2015. He is clamoring for a fight with Masvidal in what would be a title eliminator if Covington beats Lawler. If Lawler were to beat Covington, Edwards could see himself fighting in a championship bout. He said to Metro UK, “I don’t think [Masvidal] deserves a title shot.” However, as we know, there is some bad blood between Edwards and Masvidal that stems back to UFC London. The two exchanged words back stage and eventually punches were exchanged. After the altercation, Masvidal coined the phrase, “3 piece and a soda.”
This fight is the fight I think we get later this year.
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The Scrap’s Lee Brown is a 22-year Air Force Vet, fan of all sports – especially UFC, NFL & NBA, and cohost of Lee N Keys Real Talk Podcast. You can follow Lee on Twitter (@Levanstian757) and Instagram (@Va121Lee).