JORGE MASVIDAL received praise from Chael Sonnen for accepting a ‘career-ending fight’ against arch UFC rival Colby Covington.
Former friends-turned sworn enemies Masvidal and Covington are finally scheduled to settle the score in the octagon.
The pair have signed to 头条UFC 272 in Las Vegas on March 26, which confirms one of the most bitter grudge matches in the promotion’s history.
But ex-UFC title challenger and now analyst Sonnen fears a third consecutive loss for pay-per-view attraction Masvidal could signal the end of his stardom.
He said on his YouTube channel: “In all fairness, I really got to show respect to Masvidal, because this is a career-ending fight. It is that big of a deal.
“There will be that much attention and that much focus and that much hatred going into this battle, that Jorge, who’s the second-biggest draw in combat right now, who’s coming off of two defeats…
“If he goes out there and he gets taken down and he gets mauled for 25 分钟, it is going to take a lot of luster off of the shine that is the second-biggest draw, the BMF Jorge Masvidal.
“It’s a big deal, and Jorge signed up, 反正. Goddamn, I respect that.”
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Masvidal, 37, enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2019 with wins over Darren Till, 29, 我是Askren, 37 and Nate Diaz, 36.
It saw him then challenge welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, 34, in July 2020 but only after filling in on late notice.
He was beaten on points only to be brutally knocked out in their April 2021 重赛, leaving Masvidal without a win in over two years.
For Covington, 33, he has also lost twice by Usman, but both were razor thin results.
尽管如此, Masvidal welcomes Sonnen’s prediction – but expects an apology if he prevails against his former room-mate and training partner.
In all fairness, I really got to show respect to Masvidal, because this is a career-ending fight. It is that big of a deal.
他告诉 MMA Hour: “I personally like Chael — a little bothered by that comment, but it’s kind of like it just sets up the f***ng mountain to be a lot higher.
““When I climb it, and Chael’s like, ‘I can’t believe you climbed that mountain,’ I’m going to be like, ‘I told you, bitch.’
“I get it, 男子. Two white boys from Oregon, they both have that sleazeball style, 喜欢, cutting edge at the time.
“I thought Chael did it in a more classy way, but he still said things that didn’t need to be said, like bringing up Anderson Silva’s wife.
“So those type of guys gotta stick together. But I like him, 尽管, because Chael is the type of guy that will go back and apologise.
“So when I f***ing murder Colby, he has to be like, ‘Holy s***, this guy deserves a title fight,’ and blah, blah, blah.”