"I'm going to tell the commission to wrap that thing up," Masvidal said. "I don't want to get no mat herpes or nothing on my face. I've been in this game a long time, and I ain't got nothing on my face. I ain't about catch some syphilis or whatever he's got going on in that beard, you know?"
It is pretty clear that Masvidal is attempting to bully Chiesa leading into their bout. What is not clear is whether he is doing so to “Sonnen-up” his persona or if he is actually unaware that he would just as easily catch syphilis and herpes from an opponent who had the diseases and did not have a beard.
The unsportsmanlike implications by Masvidal are not the first prodding attempt the Miami native has taken against Chiesa. In an early interview with Sherdog.com, Masvidal stated that he approached this fight as “an easy paycheck. That's the whole theme of this training camp. An easy paycheck.”
The whole situation is gearing up to be the MMA's version of a 1990s ABC after-school special. The 24-7 Masvidal has taken the role of the mean kid with his sideways hat, thuggish mush-mouth speak and self-assuredness. In contrast, the 9-0 Chiesa appears to have taken on the role of the soft-spoken kid who is simply working hard to strive past the obstacles in his path.
Chiesa's only response to all the talk regarding Masvidal's comments came via his Twitter account:
To my fans, I refuse to talk shit in interviews to get attention. I'll do my talking, Saturday night under the lights. Thx for the support.— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) July 26, 2013
Jeremiah Johnson would be proud of such a response.