Jorge Masvidal: Ex-UFC champ Michael Bisping has a 'bounty on his head'

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With the one-year anniversary of his most recent victory fast approaching, Jorge Masvidal is in no rush to return to the UFC – that is, unless, he gets his long-desired matchup with Michael Bisping.

Simply put, Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) has a major beef with Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC). The former UFC middleweight champion has said his next fight will be his last before retiring from the sport, possibly as soon as UFC Fight Night 127 in London on March 17. And “Gamebred” wants to be the one to send the Brit packing.

Masvidal’s disdain for Bisping stems from “The Count” tearing up a Cuban flag in the midst of a feud with Yoel Romero. Masvidal is one of Romero’s teammates and also has Cuban heritage, so Bisping’s actions angered him deeply. The pair has had several verbal altercations since the incident, and although they are a weight class apart, Masvidal is pushing to settle the score in the octagon.

“I just don’t like him as a person,” Masvidal told MMAjunkie Radio. “I never really liked him before I met him, and after we had our encounters I liked him even less. With him, it’s just a personal thing. He disrespected my country when he ripped up the flag, so he’s got the bounty on his head. I would like to cash in before he retires. That’s why I’m willing to fight so early (in March).”

Masvidal calls the March date “early” because, after a tough 2017 campaign where he suffered losses to Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia, he planned on taking a hiatus from competition until the latter portion of the year.

There’s never been a point in Masvidal’s career at which he’s dropped three consecutive fights. He said he doesn’t want to start now, so he’s opting to take time off to make the necessary adjustments to his game. He would forego those plans, however, if it meant the opportunity to fight Bisping.

“If it’s up to me, I’m just going to be in the gym getting better until July, August,” Masvidal said. “Train, train, train and just go to the gym without having to fight. Just train and get better – do new things and change up old habits. That takes a bit of time to learn those things and execute them. That’s the only reason I’m willing to step up early, because I don’t like Bisping’s ass.”

Following his title loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217, Bisping said he would retire at the London event in March. He took a short-notice fight against Kelvin Gastelum two weeks later at UFC Fight Night 122, though, and suffered a first-round knockout, which may have altered his plans.

Bisping has been relatively mum on what’s next for him since the lost to Gastelum. Masvidal said he would fight at any time possible (even if it came outside the cage), but if the UFC isn’t willing to make it happen, he will take his time off then focus on getting a matchup with another 170-pound contender. He named Neil Magny (20-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC), who he also has some negative feelings toward, as his top choice.

“Either one of those guys I’m interested in because I don’t like either one of them,” Masvidal said of Bisping and Magny. “But if not, I’m just going to be in the gym getting better.”

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Filed under: Featured, MMAjunkie Radio, News, UFC, Videos

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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