It’s been a strange couple of days for Strikeforce lightweight Jorge Masvidal.
Early Sunday morning he received a text message from one of his managers saying his fight with Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez was off, and of course Masvidal immediately wondered what was going on.
“The first thing I got a text from one of my managers saying that he though the fight was off, and I was like ‘why is that, he got injured or something?’ and he goes ‘no, they’re taking him over to the UFC immediately.’ That was weird because I signed a bout agreement two weeks ago, so I didn’t think it was accurate,” Masvidal told MMAWeekly Radio on Monday.
Masvidal immediately started digging into the situation to find out if he was still fighting Melendez in December, or what exactly was happening.
“I called my partner Dan Lambert (from American Top Team) and he was the one that told me, let me get into it,” said Masvidal. “So he went and found out that people had just taken it out of context, the fight was still on. They want Gilbert in the UFC bad, but our fight’s still going to happen.”
So despite White’s statements on Saturday night, according to Masvidal’s manager, at least for right now, the scheduled fight with Gilbert Melendez is still happening on Dec. 17 under the Strikeforce banner.
“The fight’s on,” Masvidal stated. “From what me and my camp understand, the bout’s still on. I just signed bout agreements like two weeks ago.”
“We’re going to bring Melendez over ASAP,” were White’s words when asked about bringing Melendez over to the UFC. And when asked if that meant it could happen before the Strikeforce champion had another fight his current promotion, White answered, “Yeah.”
If the fight is indeed still happening, it may very well be a swan song for Strikeforce or at least the lightweight title. Several champions from the promotion have been shifted to the UFC already, and it appears another domino may tumble in the very near future.
Masvidal admits that at this point the only fight he wants is one with Gilbert Melendez, so he’s hopeful that the situation remains status quo and he’s fighting for the Strikeforce lightweight title in two months time.
“That’s the only fight I want,” said Masvidal. “After I fought K.J. (Noons) and I beat him, that was the only thing in my head, hopefully I’m getting Gilbert. When they told me I was getting Gilbert a couple of weeks after that fight, that’s all I’ve been thinking about.”
As for his own potential move to the UFC, Masvidal is just worried about fighting Gilbert Melendez right now. If he gets to move over to the promotion following this fight, so be it. If he doesn’t, he’ll deal with that too.
For Jorge Masvidal, the end game right now starts and stops with beating Gilbert Melendez.
“I’m just worried about crushing Gilbert, just embarrassing him out there, hurting him, putting an ass whooping on him,” said Masvidal. “That’s all I’m worried about. Whatever happens after that, happens.”
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