Sid Needelman reporting…
One Week with Jorge Masvidal before becoming a Bodog Star
By Sid Needelman
It is Tuesday August 21st, one week before Jorge Masvidal's fight against Yves Edwards, scheduled to show on the broadcast network, ion TV via Bodogfight. At 7pm at the South Miami American Top Team branch, Jorge Masvidal who boasts an 11-2 record including a win over Joe Lauzon of Ultimate Fighter fame, takes a few students onto the mat to go over some striking drills. For those who are newer to fighting, his advice to rest your arms against your chest to keep them from tiring is priceless. He speaks somewhat softly and at least one student has to ask him to repeat himself. You would never have guessed that this patient teacher will quickly pick up the pace and start showing fists flying at intimidating angles.
His night does not end after that class. Immediately after, with no rest, he is joined by a much larger group for that night's bjj class taught by the highly regarded Daniel Velverde. This isn't Valverde's first time training with someone who has met Yves Edwards in a ring. He has also trained with Mike Brown, a fellow team member from the main ATT academy, who had a tough victory over the seasoned veteran in his last fight. Familiar faces in the class also include WEC and AFC veteran, the Cuban born Ariel Gandulla, who has been training with Masvidal since before they joined American Top Team.
Masvidal's recent switch from a different team in Miami to ATT in it of itself is a story for another day.
That Tuesday night the New Jersey season of Bodogfight begins with a single bout being featured. In all honesty, it was a mistake to have stayed up to watch the episode as the single fight shown could have been just as enjoyable on DVR the next day. Scheduled for the next episode on August 28th, viewers are in for a treat as Jorge Masvidal makes his third Bodogfight showing after two wins for the organization already.
By midweek, Jorge is approached by a clothing company who has big ideas and a passion for the fight game. The clothing line “Dropya,” is small but already making a name for itself with designs that are more appealing than the all too common Affliction shirts, sported by fighters these days. The company informs Masvidal that it is willing to work with individual teams and fighters on creating custom designs. Shawn, the head guy at Dropya, has shown an interest in the ever popular ATT team and has a focus on Jorge Masvidal. He was impressed enough to send his 'vale tudo' design shirt right over, along with his newest design that has an off-centered star, complete with skulls filling in the shape.
By Thursday evening, I have been training with Masvidal for over a week and have been very impressed with his abilities. Only a few of the people at the bjj classes have the stamina to grapple several 5 minute rounds in a row, and he is one of them. More so, he is one of the even fewer who can show Daniel Velverde any bit of a challenge. I am reminded it was only a few weeks back that Valverde's friend, and former Pride Heavy weight champ Noguiera and UFC belt holder Anderson Silva, came to the ATT South Miami location to get in a good workout.
A couple days later it was Saturday night, a great night for fight fans in general, as it was a UFC PPV night. While Jorge Masvidal may have predicted Patrick Cote would have a huge uphill battle at UFC 74, it was one of the few projections he would be wrong about. Jorge watched the fights alongside a couple dozen teammates and joked around with some of the attractive women who seem to follow these fighters around.
By the day that his fight airs, Tuesday August 28th, he is already on the phone by 9:45am making sure his sponsors are noted at the end of this article. He will begin training just after 10am and he will not be finished with his work outs today until 10pm tonight. While it has been a long week, tonight's reward is to see Masvidal's fight and I can assure you it will be worth not relying on your DVR to capture the action.
Jorge Masvidal and I would like to thank Dropya fight wear which can be found at MySpace keyword: Dropya or sometimes samples of the clothing will appear on eBay, and Renegade for sponsoring Masvidal. We would also like to thank Daniel Valverde, Jesus Gallo, Eric Castanos, Paulino Hernandez, Jaun Faraldo and Gilberto Gonsales.