One of the anticipated fights on the UFC 211 card in Dallas two weeks ago was the style matchup between Demian Maia and Jorge Masvidal. While he did eat some hard shots, Maia was able to impose his grappling game throughout the fight which earned him a split decision victory, and the promise of the next title shot from UFC president Dana White.
The two weeks that had lapsed are apparently not enough for Masvidal to digest his first defeat in almost a year. During Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, “Gamebred” talked about the specific aspects of the fight made him take this loss more personally than ever.
“A loss is a loss, but that loss is a weird one, because it hurts me. It bothers me,” Masvidal said (via MMA Fighting). “None of these other split losses — obviously they bother me because of paychecks, [but] I’m the type of guy that if I get held down for 10 seconds in practice, I f----ng go crazy. Later on, I’m thinking about it still. I still have to deal with that, that this guy was able to do it for a lot longer than 10 seconds in a fight. I’ve got to fix those holes and stuff.”
“So it bothers me on personal level. I know on the business side, a lot of people have told me the same thing you told me (that it doesn’t hurt my stock), but to me, on a personal level, this is the loss that’s bothered me the most, in possibly my whole career.”
“It burns. It burns like a f—king STD, man,” Masvidal said. “Every time I wake up to piss, it burns, bro. And I’m not talking about that STD; I’m talking about real life, because I hate losing.”
Masvidal has faced and trained with top-notch grapplers throughout his entire career, which makes him no stranger to ground fights. But he did admit that Maia is on a completely different level, and understands how vital jiu-jitsu and controlling the opponent are in MMA.
“The strength level surprised me. He’s strong, definitely the strongest guy I’ve been in the cage with, and his half guard is really a class like I’ve never seen,” Masvidal said of Maia. “I’ve rolled with multiple Mundial champions and ADCC champions, and his half guard is unique. Like, when you’re in his half guard, you feel threatened the whole time like you don’t ever feel threatened with many people in grappling. And that’s not just MMA; I’m talking about straight grapplers, good guys on the ground who come from that same background that I roll with on the regular.”
“This is unique. Very, very tailored to MMA, being active, aggressively sweeping. So it was a treat. I actually learned a couple things from it that I could use myself.”
“If we’re talking about damage, obviously yeah, man, I feel I won the fight,” he added. “But control is a big part of the game,” Masvidal said. “So the people who tell me, ‘man, you got ripped off, you got robbed,’ this and that — I understand Demian’s side, because you can’t ask that dude to all of a sudden become a striker. He hasn’t been.”
“He’s always been who he is, you know? He can’t just change overnight. So, a big part of the game is control and I didn’t do as well in the control department as I usually do.”