Jorge Masvidal: Fourth of July Might be Over, But the Fireworks Aren’t Corey Adams July 12, 2012 UFC Anytime a fighter is coming off a loss to the current champion, they are extremely motivated to get back in the win column in hopes of getting back to the top. That is how Jorge Masvidal feels at this moment. The 27-year-old took on arguably the top lightweight in the world in Gilbert Melendez in Dec. 2011 for the coveted Strikeforce lightweight championship, but fell short in a hard-fought five-round affair. While the unanimous decision loss was obviously heartbreaking for him, Masvidal is focused beyond measure for his upcoming bout. Masvidal (Dave Mandel/Sherdog) “It can’t be a close fight because it doesn’t put me in a good winning circle,” Masvidal stated in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “I gotta go out there and make a statement and fight whoever else after that and make a statement [again].” Squaring off with Masvidal at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy in Portland, Ore., will be Justin Wilcox, who holds a record of 11-4 with one no-contest. Wilcox has been competing in Strikeforce since 2008, but hasn’t taken that next step to being a serious contender just yet. A win over the American Top Team fighter would be huge for Wilcox’s career, but Masvidal has something to say about that. “I just wanna whoop his ass, man,” exclaimed Masvidal. “It’s nothing personal with Justin, just I got to get back on the winning track and do it the right way.” “I’m just going to go out there and put the pressure on him. He always comes out aggressive in fights and comes to bang. I hope he does the same against me. I just want to punch him in his face. That’s my main objective,” added the lightweight. Coming into July 14, Masvidal will be very prepared thanks to his time spent training in Coconut Creek, Fla., at one of the best camps in the country, American Top Team. He’s worked with a great mix of variety there, from talented jiu-jitsu black belts,to wrestlers and strikers. But another advantage for Masvidal will be having the experience of competing in a five-round battle, and having thus learned many things from the Melendez fight. Masvidal (Dave Mandel/Sherdog) “One very important thing I learned is that I can go five rounds and finish strong,” said a confident Masvidal. “It was a big difference going three rounds to [going] five rounds, especially against someone like Gilbert who is known to have a great gas tank and has done it several times. [But] I thought I was finishing stronger in the fourth and fifth round than Gilbert was.” The majority of Masvidal’s wins have come by decision, but the loss has fueled “Gamebred” to put Wilcox away early. The former boxer is ready to let his hands go and put on a show for the fans at The Rose Garden. “I think when we both get into it and I start tagging up on him, I think he’s gonna break. I don’t think he’s gonna be there for the whole fight,” predicted Masvidal. “It’s going to be a second set of fireworks for this month.” Jorge would like to thank God and his coaches and training partners at American Top Team Photo: Jorge Masvidal (Dave Mandel/Sherdog) shawn Once wilcox gets ahold of masvidal he is going to bloody him up worse then the rodrigo damn fight. Should be a great fight and alot of fun to watch.