For Jorge Masvidal, few things motivate him.
Becoming the best in his class is a dream that many fighter’s could relate to. Putting on crowd-pleasing fight’s for the fans is also chief among his ideals. But if there was any one thing that helped ensure Masvidal’s return to the Strikeforce roster, it would be: “Money. Dam skippy.”
Masvidal previously spent a two-fight stint with Strikeforce, successful on both attempts before taking his skills overseas in order to face some of the best in his class under the Sengoku banner. There, he defeated former lightweight champion Saturo Kitaoka. During his absence, he also worked his way to the semi-finals of the Bellator Fighting Championship’s inaugural 155-pound tournament, however, lost to eventual two-time tourney finalist Toby Imada.
With some inconsistencies in his last few performances, having gone 3-3 in his last six bouts, the hard-hitting American Top Team product is greatful for the opportunity that Strikeforce has afforded him.
Masvidal will now be facing off against undefeated prospect Billy Evangelista. Both lightweight standouts will be competing on the main card for Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson, which will be aired live on Showtime and will serve as the evening’s opening televised bout this Saturday.
“Super excited. Just the fact to be fighting alone, because it’s been a while,” said Masvidal, who last competed in September of last year, taking Top 10 welterweight Paul Daley to a somewhat controversial decision in the Brit’s favor.
“Super excited to get in there and kick some butt and give the fans what they want to see, especially in Strikeforce on a huge card like that. I’m super excited.”
While money was certainly a driving factor in signing with the San Jose, Calif. based promotion, the idea of fighting against some of the best fighters in the world in an effort to be considered a top-ranked fighter was equally as important for the 26-year-old. The fact the Masvidal will have the chance to hand Evangelista the first loss in his professional career is something he takes seriously.
“They have a good combination of different types of fighters and styles and the way they impose their will,” Masvidal told MMAWeekly.com.
“Especially what I think makes the Strikeforce lightweight division so good is the crossover with Japan. Guys from Dream can come over, guys from Sengoku can come in and fight, so I think it’s an awesome deal. It’s probably one of the biggest lightweight divisions out there.
“He’s unbeaten, so if I beat him, I’m popping his cherry. After this, whoever Scott Coker (Strikeforce CEO) or whoever tells me who’s my next toughest opponent on my way to getting the title, that’s who I want to fight next. Line them up and I’ll fight them.”