With Diet On Track, Strikeforce's Jorge Masvidal Looking Only For Tough Fights

For many of his 26 fights, Strikeforce lightweight Jorge Masvidal struggled to make the 155-pound limit for lightweights.

Friday, when he made weight for his "Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson" fight with Billy Evangelista, it was no problem. That's because, for the first time in his career, Masvidal hired a nutrionalist to help him manage his weight for this fight.

"The biggest and best thing for me this time around has been the weight cut," Masvidal said Thursday on Bloody Elbow Radio. "It's been real good. I feel so dumb. It's taken me 26 professional fights to seek out nutritional help and I finally did and it's made a big change in my weight as far as weight cutting goes.

"It was more like I stopped eating for two weeks and on top of that I had to lose 15 pounds of water, so I was like, 'It's either time for me to move up in weight or I'm definitely doing something wrong.' I was definitely doing something wrong. I thought eating Double Quarter Pounders with Big Mac sauce wasn't that bad, but I guess it was."

Now we're going to see a new Masvidal inside the cage tonight as he makes his Strikeforce return against the undefeated Evangelista. Instead of being mad and upset about not being able to eat before his fight, Masvidal is jovial, spending his time playing dominos with his camp and acting "like a Boy Scout."

"The thing is, I've always, as far as performance goes, been able to eat like that, go to the gym and kick ass," he said. "I never thought anything about it. Maybe with the weight, I'd just run, and I run a lot as it is, so I didn't know how much it was holding me back, all that junk food I was eating."

For Masvidal, his run to the Strikeforce lightweight championship begins with Evangelista, a fighter with extensive experience inside the Strikeforce cage. Masvidal wants to impress Strikeforce brass enough to earn a title shot against the winner of the April fight between champion Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri.

"Hopefully if I get rid of Billy in good fashion they'll give me a title shot," Masvidal said. "I think Billy's got six or seven fights in Strikeforce undefeated, so he's got to be up there as far as rankings go for Strikeforce, so hopefully if I get past him, I get a title shot. If not, I'll go right back and grind it out. Whoever's the next No. 1 guy to the title shot, I want to fight him."

Win or lose against Evangelista, Masvidal is only looking for the toughest fights Strikeforce can give him. He's signed with the promotion for six fights (but can take fights in Japan to keep busy, he said) and wants to make the most of them by fighting only the best.

"That's all I'm looking for," Masvidal said. "If they're not the toughest fights I can get, then give me a complete washup, someone that'll be an easy payday. But I'd rather have the toughest fights I can get so I can get to the title the fastest way possible. I don't want any up-and-coming guys. I want someone that's established already, that's good."

Masvidal will be tested by the undefeated Evangelista when the two meet in the opening fight of tonight's Showtime broadcast from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. He said he doesn't know what to expect from Evangelista but he does know what he's expecting from himself.

"I gotta go in there and kick his butt," he said.

"I know Billy's got a good gas tank in him and nobody wants to lose their undefeated streak, so I know he's going to come out to fight me and try to take my head off. I'm going to make him miss and take his head off, so expect me to win and expect a good fight."

Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson coverage

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You can hear the entire interview with Masvidal by listening to Thursday's edition of Bloody Elbow Radio. We return immediately following "Feijao vs. Henderson" to review the show.

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