The brutal knockout of Darren Till, the baptism of Ben Askren, and the dominant performance against Nate Diaz have transformed Jorge Masvidal into one of the biggest stars in UFC. However, there is a narrative that implies the last three wins of Masvidal are not as good as they look.
Darren Till was having success against Jorge Masvidal until the BMF landed the thunder. Besides that, Till was compromised in the welterweight division due to tough weight cuts. Ben Askren was making his return after long hiatus from the sport and was way out of his prime. And Nate Diaz is not a legit welterweight. The significant wins Nate Diaz has at welterweight division are against Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis, who are lightweights.
What changed in Jorge Masvidal after his UFC return
However, a major thing is getting overlooked while criticizing Masvidal’s performances since his UFC return. Jorge Masvidal has always been a great fighter. But the way he approaches his fights has changed drastically. Earlier in his career, usually he was not the initiator. He used to hold back, get a read of his opponents, and try to build a gameplan around it.
But that’s not the case anymore. Jorge Masvidal is already thinking about the finish before even getting into the octagon. And the knockout against Askren is the perfect example of that. Jorge Masvidal set a trap for the flying knee and he planed it before the fight.
Similarly, in the fight against Darren Till, Jorge Masvidal was on the backfoot after Till got the knockdown. However, he was still reading the movements of Till. He was throwing faints to see how Till reacts to them. And in the end, he got the knockout. Jorge Masvidal is one of the finest strikers in UFC. And he has proven it again and again.
Now the last three wins might not be as good as Kamaru Usman‘s last few wins. However, all those fights were high-pressure fights. Fighting Darren Till at Manchester, fighting the unbeaten Ben Askren, and fighting Nate Diaz in arguably the biggest fight of 2019, was not easy fights. However, Masvidal made it look easy. And the biggest thing that can be taken away from the last three wins of Jorge Masvidal is his change in approach to the fights.
However, will that be enough to beat one of the most dominant welterweights of all time?