Some call him “Gamebred,” while others call him “Street Jesus.” His real name is Jorge Masvidal, a South Florida native who has been dotting eyes since he was fighting older men on YouTube videos in Kimbo Slice’s backyard during his teens.
After nearly two decades of grinding in combat sports, Masvidal has become a star in 2019. It started with a savage knockout of Darren Till, who challenged for the UFC’s welterweight title last year, as a big road underdog (+185) in the UFC Liverpool headliner.
During Masvidal’s postfight interview live on ESPN+, welterweight contender Leon Edwards started talking trash to him as he walked by the set. Never shy to engage someone popping off to him, Masvidal left the interview and busted Edwards up with the quickness (it starts about 30 seconds in).
Then in a subsequent interview less than an hour later, Masvidal famously dubbed the combination of punches that left Edwards bleeding as a “three piece and a soda.”
After beating Till, Masvidal was booked to face undefeated former Bellator welterweight kingpin Ben Askren, who spent months hyping the fight with trash talk in interviews and on social media. Askren was getting lots of buzz after defeating former UFC welterweight champ, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler, in his Octagon debut.
Masvidal needed only five seconds to beat Askren with a flying-knee knockout at last Saturday’s UFC 239 show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Masvidal collected fans galore with that highlight-reel finish. Then he gained more during his post-fight interviews, giving life to the phrase “super necessary” and providing Whole Foods with some free publicity.
On Thursday, Masvidal visited the studio of “The Dan Le Batard Show” for an on-air interview in Miami. He called for a title shot next or a scrap with former UFC double champ Conor McGregor, who he called “an easy paycheck.”
Masvidal’s remarks didn’t go unnoticed. In fact, they prompted Joe Rogan to comment about a potential showdown on his podcast.
Most importantly for our purposes, the comments encouraged BetOnline to post odds for the scrap. The offshore betting shop installed Masvidal as a -160 favorite, leaving “The Notorious” as a +140 underdog.
BetOnline didn’t stop there. It also posted odds on the next opponent for both fighters.
The favorite to take on Masvidal next is Kamaru Usman with 3/1 odds. Usman is the welterweight champ who is currently sidelined after undergoing double hernia surgery.
The next-shortest odds to take on Masvidal in his next bout belong to McGregor (+350), Nate Diaz (+425), Leon Edwards (+450), Rafael dos Anjos (5/1) and American Top Team teammate, Colby “Chaos” Covington (6/1).
As for McGregor’s next foe, BetOnline installed Diaz as the +225 “chalk.” The rest of the odds look like this: Masvidal (+350), Khabib Nurmagomedov (4/1), Dustin Poirier (5/1), Tony Ferguson (+650) and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (7/1).
Speaking of Diaz, the 209 product is set to fight for the first time in nearly three years in the UFC 241 co-main event against Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Most books have the Pettis-Diaz odds as a pick ’em (-115 either way).
**B.E.’s Octagon Nuggets**
–BetOnline has middleweight champion Robert Whittaker listed as a -140 favorite vs. interim 185-pound champ Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya (+120). This is the UFC 243 main event that’s expected to take place at a to-be-announced venue in Australia.
–Most books have heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier listed as a -145 favorite against former champ Stipe Miocic (+115) in the UFC 241 headliner on Aug. 17. This is a rematch of Cormier’s first-round KO win last year.
–The Octagon is back in Sacramento tonight, with unbeaten 24-year-old women’s bantamweight contender Aspen Ladd taking on former featherweight champ Germaine de Randamie in the main event. Ladd had another scary weight cut yesterday, one that left her trembling as she got on the scale. Nevertheless, doctors have cleared her to fight. Ladd was favored at around -170 on Wednesday and Thursday, but those odds are down to -140 at many books (and -130 at 5Dimes). If you can get Ladd at -130, I recommend a half-unit on the rising star.
–I’ll also go with Josh Emmett for one unit tonight as a +145 underdog (5Dimes) vs. Mirsad Bektic in a featherweight bout.
–My only other play tonight is two units on “under” 1.5 rounds at a -120 price for a light-heavyweight contest between John Allan and Mike Rodriguez. The 30-year-old Rodriguez owns a 10-3 career record with eight knockouts and two submission victories. Eight of Rodriguez’s 10 wins have come via first-round finishes. Allan took the fight on just one week of notice, replacing the injured Gian Villante. Allan (13-5) has nine career KO victories and three submission wins. Plus, he’s been submitted four times.