Strikeforce lightweight Jorge Masvidal joined the long list of Mixed Martial Artists claiming a pre-fight injury prohibited performance after coming up short inside the cage. The 27-year old’s stumble in question occurred this past Saturday night when he faced 155-pound champion Gilbert Melendez in a spirited scrap seeing “El Nino” retain his title by way of the judges’ scorecards. The bulk of the bout involved striking, an area Masvidal was seen as superior in entering the match-up but which ultimately played into Melendez’s hands – literally – by the time things were over.

According to an official statement from Masvidal’s camp, “Gamebred” hurt his right while training for the title-fight and re-aggravated the injury in the first frame, thus rendering it virtually unusable for the remainder of the contest. Masvidal also explained he went away from his coaches’ gameplan involving takedowns/ground-work, a likely product of instinct taking over given his past success while standing.

However, Masvidal also made it clear his admissions aren’t meant to take anything away from Melendez’s victory, adding, “At the end of the day Melendez won fair and square. He’s a great fighter and I have a lot of respect for him. I just hope I get the chance to fight him again.”

The loss to Melendez dropped Masvidal’s record to 22-7 and snapped a two-fight winning streak including success against Billy Evangelista and K.J. Noons.


MMATraining Take: So Masvidal comes out to say he wasn’t 100% in the fight, yet doesn’t want it to diminish Melendez’s accomplishments? Get real. He chose to compete with his mangled mitt and in doing so he is accountable for his showing. I’ve definitely lost a sliver of respect for him based on the statements in question.