Masvidal will battle Maia on the main card of UFC 211, which will take place in Dallas, Texas. Since Maia is riding a six fight winning streak, and is ranked #3, the consensus is that if Masvidal wins, he should jump right into a title fight with Tyron Woodley. After all, Woodley already holds wins over the #1 ranked Stephen Thompson, and the #2 positioned, Robbie Lawler.
As we’ve seen in recent months, however, rankings don’t always determine who’s getting a title shot. As a result, this is likely why Masvidal recently told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani the following (quote via Bloody Elbow):
“All I know is if I could God willing get through Maia, and I don’t get a title shot, this sport took a drastic turn for the worst,” Masvidal said. “It’s all pop stars, WWE, and reality TV. And that’s not what I signed up for, man. That’s not what I’m gonna do. You’re not gonna catch me doing that whole sh-t to get there.”
“I’m just gonna fight and continue to be myself. And if that doesn’t get me a title shot by beating the number one clear cut contender, Well then, sh-t. I don’t know what to do, man.”
A lot of folks are likely in agreement with Masvidal’s concerns. Considering the roll Maia’s been on, and what Masvidal’s done in his recent outings, this Saturday’s fight certainly could be a title shot eliminator.
But, as noted above, nothing’s certain anymore in terms of title shots. What if Georges St-Pierre now calls for a fight with Tyron Woodley? Since GSP’s no longer fighting Michael Bisping? Would the UFC pass on St-Pierre and go with Masvidal? Or what if talks with Floyd Mayweather fall through, and Conor McGregor asks for a shot at the 170 crown?