Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jorge Masvidal to Bring Cuban Style to Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum Card [Interview]

Jorge Masvidal definitely has fight in his blood. From backyard brawls in Miami to professional fights against some of the toughest in the game, Jorge Masvidal lives up to his nickname, "Gamebred." And, with a major title well within reach, the Cuban-American fighter is taking no shorts.

Masvidal will face KJ Noons at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum to determine top contention in the Strikeforce 155 lb. division. I caught up with Masvidal earlier this week. We discussed his being on the undercard and the 'Cuban style' among other topics (below). Masvidal is currently finishing up the last couple of weeks of training camp. I must say, Mr. Masvidal is a very cool, humble guy. He's a family man with a wife and two little girls, but when the gloves go on, it's a different story.

Masvidal vs. Noons will be featured on the preliminary card of Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum on June 18 in Dallas. The winner will likely take on reigning Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez.

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Jorge Masvidal Interview:

FJ: You’ve really hit the ground running since returning to Strikeforce. In your return bout, you faced previously undefeated Billy Evangelista, a dangerous stand-up fighter. This go-round, you will face skilled pugilist KJ Noons in a race for top contention. How do you think you match up against Noons? What is your strategy for Noons?

JM: I think its a good match up we both like to strike. Strategy is kick his ass.

FJ: There’s some big fights on the June 18 Strikeforce Overeem vs. Werdum card. However, I was surprised to see your bout with Noons and “JZ” Calvacante vs. Justin Wilcox on the undercard. Did this upset or frustrate you in anyway?

JM: That im not on the main card does piss me off, less fans, family and friends get to see me fight. and less money in sponsorship. But, I do understand there's a hw tourney going on with some exciting fights I wanna see myself.

FJ: Some of your training partners -- Jorge Santiago and Gesias Calvacante -- have moved from American Top Team to Imperial Athletics (Brazilian Top Team). Do you plan to make the same move or do you intend to remain at ATT?

JM: I'm staying with my team ATT and SMSP.

FJ: Cuba has a deep athletic tradition. From baseball, to soccer, wrestling, boxing, and now MMA, people of Cuban descent continue to keep that tradition alive. Guys like you, Hector Lombard, Yoel Romero Palacio, and Alexis Vila carry the Cuban banner in mixed martial arts. Tell how you feel about keeping the Cuban athletic tradition alive through MMA.

JM: Cubans are fighters, it's in our blood and culture. I represent for all Latinos everywhere. My style is Cuban boxing/kickboxing and Cuban style wrestling.

FJ: Last year Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal described his style as the Cuban style, noting the distinct style of Cuban wrestlers and boxers. How might you describe this style?

JM: Funny thing, I didn't read this question before I answered the previous one. All my coaches in Miami are Cuban. My dad is cuban my mom Peruvian.

FJ: Is the “Cuban style” something that bring to the cage?

JM: Cuban style is something I bring to the cage. It's a different mentality -- a 'I'm-gonna-make-you-look-bad' style.

FJ: What’s in your Ipod/MP3 these days?

JM: Tego Calderon, 50 Cent, mostly Spanish music and hip hop.

FJ: Any shout-outs?

JM: Shout outs to my daughters, mom, dad, all my team coaches and fans that have believed in me from the days in the backyards!

On a completely off note, I neglected to ask Jorge who he thought would win the 2011 NBA Championships. I think it's safe to assume that Mr. Masvidal is a Miami Heat fan. With Masvidal being from Miami, it would've been an appropriate question to ask. But, since I'm live in the Dallas area, I guess I'll just remind any Heat fans that we won game #2 tonight!!! Just note, this message will probably be deleted if our luck changes for the worse.

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