Jorge Masvidal’s quest to become UFC champion fell short for the second time in as many attempts against Kamaru Usman, so what’s next for the fan favorite welterweight? Well if he has his way, perhaps he’ll welcome back Nick Diaz to the Octagon after a six-year absence.
Masvidal’s manager Abe Kawa told Ariel Helwani that ‘Gamebred’ is looking to return in the fall, and he’s eyeing either Diaz or Colby Covington.
Spoke to Jorge Masvidal’s manager, Abraham Kawa, about what’s next for Masvidal. He said Masvidal is targeting a return in October/November against either Nick Diaz or Colby Covington.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 5, 2021
Masvidal (35-15) broke through as a UFC star in 2019 with his trio of wins over Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz. His first title fight against Kamaru Usman came on short notice after Gilbert Burns withdrew, and Masvidal dropped a decision. He got a rematch without fighting again and this time was sensationally knocked out in round two.
As far as his two main options, Covington (16-2) is expected to get the next shot against Usman, having lost to him by dramatic fifth-round TKO in late 2019. He has fought just once since then, winning by fifth-round injury TKO in what was otherwise a dominant performance against Tyron Woodley. Colby and Masvidal are former teammates who now really don’t like each other.
Diaz (26-9, 2 NCs) has been out of the sport for more than six years. He was memorably suspended for five years by the Nevada Athletic Commission over another positive test for marijuana following his loss to Anderson Silva. That suspension was reduced to 18 months but he’s never been that close to return even after that fiasco ended. This year has seen some more stirring that we will see the ex-Strikeforce champ back in action.
Notably not mentioned in that list of opponents? Leon Edwards.