‘The Kimbo Slice type of fighting’
I was pretty young when I first met Kimbo at the gym. He was the first YouTube celebrity; he had millions of views before people even knew what YouTube was.
I remember seeing that shit for the first time and thinking, ‘What the fuck?’ It was nuts.
Back then, you’d see him on YouTube and think, ‘Man this guy is some wild animal that only gets brought out to feed when they give him a human soul to take up.’
But when you’d meet him, he was one of the most humble, down to earth, cool motherfuckers you could ever meet. If you just met him, you wouldn’t think that he was a prize fighter. He didn’t even have that vibe about him. He was one of the coolest cats that you’d ever come across.
We came from the same humble places, where you get taught to be cool and respectful to everybody because you never know who you’re speaking to.
I’ve always had that about me as well. Just because you’re kicking everyone’s ass doesn’t mean you have to act like an ass. Fighting is just what I love to do. It’s my hobby, but I don’t get how pro fighters treat regular people like they’re beneath them.
I think my time fighting on the streets is what makes me different to all the other fighters in the division.
Kimbo Slice's Backyard Street Fights Series: #JorgeMasvidal Vs. #Ray
Posted by Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal on Monday, 1 July 2019
Fighting on the streets is uncivilised. You can get shot, stabbed or attacked by multiple people because there’s no real supervision or authority, except for other street motherfuckers like Kimbo Slice, RIP, who used to make sure that nothing bad would happen.
But bad things could still happen, that’s why it’s different.
I just treated those fights as another scrap, I didn’t think about YouTube. I definitely didn’t think I’d one day have millions of views, and people recognising me from it.
But even back when I was street fighting, I knew that I would go into the pros, and that I would do everything in my power to be the best at it. There was no doubt in my mind.
‘Some things I’m not proud of’
It got to a point where I knew that fighting was what I was meant to be doing.
I knew my natural abilities as a kid growing up, from getting into fistfights. I knew that God had gifted me in certain areas – speed, reflexes and toughness.
In the gym I got humbled by many training sessions, letting myself grow and develop into something else. After two or three years, I already knew I was going to go far and be world champion. I’d been training with good guys in different disciplines and I knew how I matched up against them.
But I couldn’t turn pro until I was 18 so when I was 17, I stopped training and got a job in telemarketing for three months to save up as much money as I could.
It was a shitty ass time in my life, it was depressing, but I turned pro when I was 18 and in my first fight I made $1,000 – $500 to show and $500 to win – so I could pay for the gym memberships and trainers, give some money to my mum and put some in my pockets.
After all that I had about $1,400 left in my pocket with no more money to come in. I just started hustling, doing whatever it would take to get me to the next fight; some things I’m not proud of.
I didn’t fuck around too much, as far as the moral compass goes, but I did a lot of shit that I didn’t want to do. I did construction work, cleaning carpets, sleeping in cars.
For everybody out there, that’s not the end of the world. Some people might look at it like, ‘You’ve got to get another career.’ Nah, it just means I had to think harder, go further, to get it no matter what. These were the sacrifices that it took.
When I was sleeping in the back of a car, I knew that I was going to get myself out of there. A lot of times I didn’t have food to eat. Well guess what, my job as a fighter is to cut weight. Now there are many days where I can’t eat and I still have to train and compete.
When I look at it now, that time was about building my mental toughness. It was giving me that extra edge, which you need in fighting. It was all just part of the process.
A lot of people would have quit. I was in boxing programs with guys who were talented, with natural toughness, who could go far. But guess what, life beat them up.
Their car broke down, they didn’t want to ride a bike or catch a bus, or be a little humiliated among friends, catching rides and sleeping on couches.
I don’t give a fuck about none of that.
Even nowadays, you’ll see me at the bus stop in the pouring rain if I have to catch that bus. I was going to get it done and not only in the gym.
Out in the world I was even tougher. I didn’t take no for an answer.
2019 was God’s timing
‘Game’ is the ability to fight through pain and fatigue. ‘Bred’ means that you’re bred for that.
I’m ‘Gamebred’, man.
At 35 years old, 2019 was a big year. That’s God’s timing.
There’s a divine force out there, a supernatural power with intelligent design, who knew that when I was 25, I was too motherfucking wild.
All this money and all that power back then, who knows man. I was a different kid back then.
Jorge Masvidal is coming to Australia in February to meet, train and even dine with Aussie fight fans. Click here to find out more.