Jorge Masvidal is a close friend and training partner of middleweight contender Yoel Romero, who is now expected to be the next man in line for middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Masvidal’s friendship with Romero, however, does not mean he has an ill-will toward Adesanya. Far from it, in fact.
Speaking to the media ahead of his UFC 244 fight with Nate Diaz, Masvidal recounted a conversation he had with Adesanya in a Las Vegas night club. He says this conversation caused his respect for the Nigerian-Kiwi to grow instantly.
Hear Masvidal’s story about Adesanya in the video below (via Andrew Whitelaw of Fox Sports Asia):
“Let me tell you a story,” Masvidal began, recounting his conversation with Adesanya. “Let me tell you a personal story with Izzy.”
“I see Izzy after my fight with Ben [Askren] at a club,” he continued. “Izzy’s a wild motherf**ker. He’s got his shirt off… women everywhere. I’m immediately like ‘I love this motherf**ker.’ We’re just talking shit, just shooting the breeze, just two fighters that love what they do, you know? Then he pulls me closer and says ‘come here, let me tell you something Masvidal.’
“He’s like ‘man, I know Yoel’s your boy, but listen,” Masvidal continued. “To me, that’s the baddest motherf**ker. Until I fight that dude, my legacy won’t be complete.’ I was in the club, so I don’t know if he said those exact words, ‘legacy’ and ‘complete’… [but] this is where I love Izzy, man. Nobody in history has ever wanted to fight Yoel. Nobody’s wanted it. They get forced to fight Yoel. Ask anybody. Ask one of the toughest motherf**kers to do it, [Robert] Whittaker. Ask anybody. You never want to fight Yoel, and after you fight Yoel, you see what happens. They’re never the same. No one.
“Izzy looked me in my soul and told me ‘I’m going to fight Yoel.’ It didn’t matter, they could have offered him Joe Schmo for the belt, it didn’t matter to him,” Masvidal concluded. “He wanted to fight Yoel. Right then and there, I knew the type of character he was. Like, man, this guy is who he says he is. He wants to fight the best, the baddest of the baddest. I saluted him and said ‘God bless you on your journey, man.’ Cause he’s an animal.”