Jorge Masvidal (above) expects a tough match against K.J. Noons. | Photo: Mike Fridley/Sherdog.com
Jorge Masvidal isn’t certain a win over K.J. Noons will earn him a Strikeforce lightweight title shot, but he’ll be fighting Saturday with the expectation that a crack against champion Gilbert Melendez is on the line.
“I didn’t have Dana White tell me that or nothing, but that’s what they’ve been telling me,” Masvidal said recently on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “After the fight, if they give me a contract, that’s when I’ll know it’s official. But that’s what they told me: The number one contendership is in this fight. But until I see it on paper, I won’t really believe it 100 percent.”
In his most recent outing, Masvidal defeated a previously unbeaten Billy Evangelista via unanimous decision in March. Meanwhile Noons is coming off an October 2010 loss to rival Nick Diaz. Noons wasn’t afraid to trade fists or words with Diaz, but Masvidal said there’s nothing personal heading into his meeting with Noons.
“Just another tough guy to beat,” Masvidal said. “I don’t think nothing else. I don’t care what feuds [he’s had]. I don’t care if he dated Madonna. I don’t care about anything that he’s done in the past. I’m just looking at him as another tough guy I’m going to beat up on Saturday night.”
Masvidal knows he’s in for a challenge. In particular he pointed to Noons’ ability to go the full 25 minutes with Diaz.
“He’s tough,” Masvidal said. “He’s durable. He’s in good shape. He went five rounds. He’s done it before in the past -- something that I’ve never done. For three rounds he shouldn’t be gassing or nothing, but really, I don’t think of any threats. I just go in there and fight, and hopefully everything goes to plan. It’s not like he’s a great jiu-jitsu specialist [and] I have to worry about a guillotine or he’s going to be able to double leg me. What he does good, I do good too. I’m not scared in any aspect.”
With a win, Masvidal will not only move into the title hunt but will also take a step closer to fulfilling a personal goal.
“I told myself last year that this year I’d get the belt around my waist,” he said. “That’s right when I had signed with Strikeforce. I want to have that Strikeforce belt on my waist, and then whenever Zuffa and the fans want me to go over [to the UFC], that’s up to them.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 49:00).