TUF 21 Finale takes place Sunday, July 12, and for this preview we'll examine the welterweight matchup between Jorge Masvidal (28-9) vs. Cezar Ferreira (8-4) which will take place on the main card on Fox Sports 1.
Masvidal never quite broke into the top tier of the UFC’s lightweight division. He had some impressive wins, but just when it seemed like he might be breaking through, he suffered losses to Rustam Khabilov, via unanimous decision, and in his most recent fight, a controversial split decision loss to Al Iaquinta in April of this year. Masvidal now moves up to welterweight to face Ferreira, who is also making his UFC welterweight debut.
After winning the middleweight division of the first season of TUF: Brazil, Ferreira experienced some inconsistency of his own and is 1-2 in his last three fights, having suffered first-round KO losses at the hands of CB Dollaway, and more recently, Sam Alvey, in February of this year. Both men are looking to make statements in their first fights in the UFC’s 170 pound division and this could make for a very exciting fight.
The betting lines favor Masvidal by a fairly sizable margin at -300 while Ferreira is the underdog at +220. This is an interesting statement about Masvidal’s skill level as many people would likely favor the larger Ferreira as he is moving down a weight class and should have a noticeable size advantage.
But Ferreira has had problems staying conscious in his recent fights and Masvidal has the power to put him on his back. Ten of Masvidal’s 28 wins are by T/KO, and even in his 16 decision wins, Masvidal has generally out-struck his opponents to score the necessary points to get those wins. MMA history has shown us that once a fighter gets knocked out, subsequent knockout losses are more likely, and Ferreira has two very recent KO losses, making many wonder if Masvidal will be the “third time is the charm” for the former middleweight.
Ferreira will have a very slight reach advantage and this could prove troublesome for Masvidal who generally likes to fight on the outside himself. Masvidal will need to keep Ferreira off of him on the ground when Ferreira inevitably scores a takedown. Look for this fight to be a close one, with Masvidal having a little bit of a problem dealing with the larger Ferreira. But this time, Masvidal will come out the victor in a close split decision win.