It all started in 2008. That’s when Jorge Masvidal first entered a cage with someone from the Healy family. It wasn’t Pat Healy, the man Masvidal will fight on April 19 at UFC on Fox 11. It was Pat’s brother, Ryan.

Masvidal was 13-2 at the time, and Ryan was 14-3-1. They were prospects getting some of their first tastes of the bigger shows. Ryan had already made three appearances under the WEC banner, though he had suffered two losses there. Masvidal had appeared in the Bodog Fight ring and already had one Strikeforce appearance—a win over Matt Lee at the Playboy Mansion—under his belt. After three rounds against Ryan, Masvidal took home the judges’ nod in a unanimous decision victory. Now, more than six years later, he meets the other brother, Pat.

Masvidal (R) delivers a knee (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Masvidal (R) delivers a knee (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

“I beat up his brother and I plan on doing the same to him,” Masvidal told The MMA Corner. “He started talking trash after I beat his brother, so yeah, there is bad history there. I’m happy to finally be able to shut him up.”

Pat, like his brother Ryan, has been fighting since the early 2000s and the number in his loss column is in the double digits. However, he emerged as a contender in the Strikeforce cage from 2010 to 2013 with seven wins in eight appearances. He carried that momentum over to the UFC, where he defeated Jim Miller via submission. The contest, however, was later overturned to a no-contest when Healy tested positive for marijuana. He went on to lose his next two outings.

“Pat is a D-II wrestler. What else do I need to say?” Masvidal asked. “I have better hands than he does, and I don’t think he will be able to take me down.

“I’m going to beat him the same way I beat his brother.”

Healy isn’t the only fighter in this affair who is coming off a loss. Masvidal’s last outing, which took place at UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3, ended in a unanimous decision loss to Rustam Khabilov, a 17-1 lightweight prospect who moved his UFC winning streak to three fights with the victory over Masvidal.

“Rustam was an extremely tough fighter,” Masvidal explained. “I was able to stop his wrestling in a way most people couldn’t, and it made me really confident that all the work I have been doing on that part of my fight game has paid off. I look back and realize how close that fight was and am constantly reminded you can’t leave it up to the judges.”

Masvidal has made some adjustments since the loss.

“I’ve changed up some of my coaching a little, as well as my diet,” he revealed.

Masvidal (top) (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Masvidal (top) (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Masvidal hopes these adjustments provide the extra edge he needs to get back into the win column. His confidence in the fight is apparent, and his prior loss seems to be of little concern as he moves forward. He’s now 2-1 inside the Octagon. If he’s worried that a second straight loss might result in a change in his employment status, he’s not showing it. In his mind, the only one that needs to be concerned for his job is Healy, who is technically winless through three fights in his current UFC stint.

“He’s in more trouble than I am, and I plan on going out there and doing what I need to do,” Masvidal said.

Masvidal once called Healy an “easy paycheck” fight. He’s confident that he’ll emerge with the win. But what comes next?

“I’d like to fight Jim Miller,” Masvidal revealed. “I think that would be a great fight.”

A win over Healy and a subsequent victory over Miller would put Masvidal back on track after the loss to Khabilov. It would give “Gamebred” a total of 27 fights in the win column. Not too shabby for someone who is only 29 years old. Even at that relatively young age, Masvidal could be called a grizzled veteran of the sport. He’s been in plenty of battles since making his pro debut in 2003. He’s also seen a lot of change in the sport, for better and worse.

“I think the growth of the sport has been amazing,” he said. “The fact that guys can make a living off this and make it their career is a great thing.

“The sponsorship market for sure [has changed for the worst].”

Despite his veteran status, Masvidal still has many years remaining in his mixed martial arts career. He’ll be there to witness even more evolution in this young sport. His fight with Healy is just the next step in his campaign to reach the top of the lightweight ranks, but it’s also his chance to close a chapter of his career that started in 2008. Back then, under the spotlights in the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Wash., he defeated Ryan. Now, he’s ready to add another Healy name to his resume.

“I plan on being the reason Healy gets fired. Period.”

Jorge would like to thank to American Top Team and his coaches. He would also like to thank ML Management and his sponsors: Torque, Dynamic Faster, Training Mask, Musclepharm, Aquahydrate, Alienware, 1 Source Automotive, Du20 and Ringside. Follow Masvidal on Twitter: @GamebredFighter

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