JORGE MASVIDAL wants to fight Conor McGregor in his UFC return – and warned he will send the Irishman into an early retirement.
The American is yet to return since defeat to arch rival Colby Covington in March and has now made McGregor his No1 target.
Masvidal, 37, brutally beat Nate Diaz, also 37, into a third-round stoppage in 2019 after causing a gruesome head gash.
And he predicted a similar beatdown against McGregor – if the former two-weight UFC champion ever makes a comeback.
Masvidal told SunSport: “I don’t think he’s going to fight period again, I definitely don’t think he fights after me.
“Just like I was a cancer to Nate Diaz’s style and brand, because he’s like this tough guy and like, ‘Man, I’m going to stand toe-to-toe with anybody and go to war and everybody’s going to run from me.’
“Nah. Wrong, I’m going to get in your face and make you back down. Same thing with Conor.
“He’s not going to be able to say he took me down and held me down, he’s going to say, this guy kneed me in the ribs, elbowed me in the eye socket and then knocked me the f*** out.
“And it’s not going to look good for his brand. I don’t even see him taking the fight with me to tell the truth.
“But much less, if he takes the fight with me, I don’t think he’s fighting after that.”
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The UFC’s No4 ranked contender Gilbert Burns, 35, is among the other alternatives for Masvidal to fight.
But the ex-backyard street brawler confirmed McGregor, 33, is his lucrative first-choice pick.
Masvidal said: “Yeah, it would definitely be Conor.”
He continued: “I think as far as my bank account goes, I’d get to make a lot of money beating this midget, so why not?
“Then, after that there’s many other fights to just get right to it and fight the world’s best, like Gilbert, whoever has the belt.
“There’s a couple guys on the personal side that I’ve just got to get them.
“No matter what, we’re going to get back in there and scrap it out again.”
I don’t even see him taking the fight with me to tell the truth. But much less, if he takes the fight with me, I don’t think he’s fighting after that.
Jorge Masvidal on Conor McGregor
After Masvidal’s bitter loss to former friend-turned enemy Covington, 34, the pair were just weeks later involved in an alleged brawl.
Masvidal, arrested and accused of attacking Covington, claimed he is facing three felony charges as the case remains pending in Miami-Dade County.
And until his legal situation is revolved, it stands to affect any return to the UFC cage.
Masvidal said: “As we know, I’ve got some issues to handle, I’ve got to get my ducks in a row on the legal side.
“I’ve got to fix a couple things up, get some things straightened and some of these things are out of my hands, so I don’t want to say a date, and that date not happen.
“I’m usually pretty on point with my dates, I say I’m going to be here this day and I’m there.
“So, there’s some things that are out of my control, but am I fighting this year? If it’s up to me, 100 per cent yes, I just don’t know.
“I’m optimistic and this year I think I’m going to be in the cage.”