In August 2019, Nate Diaz defeated Anthony Pettis by unanimous decision. The fight was the first for Diaz in nearly three years. Shortly after the referee raised Diaz’s hand in victory, Diaz told UFC commentator Joe Rogan why he had been absent from the octagon.
“The reason I was off was because everybody sucks,” Diaz told UFC commentator Joe Rogan. “There was nobody to fight. With this belt, I want to defend it against… Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight, good last fight. All respect to the man, but there ain’t no gangsters in this game anymore. There ain’t nobody who does it right but me and him. So I know my man’s a gangster, but he ain’t no West Coast gangster.”
Masvidal, who was in the crowd inside Honda Center in Anaheim, California for the event, greeted Diaz’s callout with a huge grin.
As for the belt Diaz was talking about, he explained that in more detail at the post-fight press conference.
“This is the fight game,” Diaz said. “Quit acting like this is a professional sport. (Take) whatever they want to give me? No, I’m going to take what’s mine. That’s what I’m talking about, the baddest mother(expletive) title. I need that belt made as soon as possible.”
The UFC seemed to approve of Diaz’s idea. Not only did the promotion book the fight between Diaz and Masvidal, it created an actual physical BMF title belt for the scrap, which served as the main event of UFC 244. The fight took place on November 2, 2019 at Madison Square Garden.
By the end of the first round of the welterweight scrap, Masvidal had opened up Diaz and blood flowed freely from around his right eye. That cut did not discourage or slow Diaz, who kept pressuring Masvidal in the second round.
Masvidal’s boxing was crisp and accurate throughout the fight, but Diaz hung tough.
As the third round ticked down, Diaz pawed at his right eye as the cut or blood seemed to bother him.
Before the fourth round began the cageside doctor entered the octagon and examined the open cuts around Diaz’s eye. The video of the fight showed Diaz was willing and ready to continue, but the referee did not like what he saw and waved off the fight.
Even though the fight was cut short, it lived up to the BMF billing as both Masvidal and Diaz gave it their all in pursuit of the BMF belt.
Masvidal has not stepped into the octagon since he defeated Diaz. He makes his return tonight in the main event of UFC 251, where he faces UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
UFC 251 takes place tonight at Fight Island on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The pay-per-view card streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.
UFC 251 is headlined by three title fights. Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal meet in the main event. In the co-headliner, UFC featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski faces Max Holloway. The other title fight is Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo for the vacant bantamweight crown.
Before Masvidal faces Usman, watch Masvidal’s TKO win over Diaz.