According to Masvidal’s representatives through a press release on Sunday, the American Top Team fighter suffered a hand injury a couple of weeks before the fight, but opted to push through and take the fight with Melendez anyways.
He suffered the injury on his right hand and after the early part of the first round in his title fight against Melendez, he abandoned using it for most of the rest of the fight.
“We attempted to seek additional treatment on his hand prior to the fight; however, were told by the commission it was too late,” said Ron Foster, one of Masvidal’s managers. “Masvidal was determined to push forward and he did. We are proud of his performance under the circumstances.”
Masvidal admitted after the fight that the initial plan was to actually take Melendez down to the ground due to the injury to his right hand, but the strategy never came to fruition.
“I should have listened to my corners and tried to take him down more,” said Masvidal. “At the end of the day Melendez won fair and square. He’s a great fighter and I have a lot of respect for him. I just hope I get the chance to fight him again.”
Once he returns home to Florida, Masvidal will have the hand checked by doctors to determine if it is broken or what further treatment he’ll need to get back in the cage.
The end result on Saturday was a unanimous decision win for Gilbert Melendez, but Masvidal is hopeful to get another shot one day.
“I want that belt and I will work my way back up until I’m given the opportunity at it again,” said Masvidal.
The American Top Team fighter will head home on Sunday and see his doctors in the coming days. The California State Athletic Commission will release their medical report over the next week as well, and will determine if Masvidal will be suspended for any extended time for the injured hand.
There’s been no word yet if his pre-fight testing revealed any injuries or not.