Jorge Masvidal laid claim to the BMF belt at UFC 244 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. He was taking the fight to Nate Diaz, but it was the ringside doctor that ended the bout with a controversial stoppage.
The UFC rarely headlines a pay-per-view event without a championship fight. It takes a bout that goes beyond titles. It takes a fight like Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz, who headlined UFC 183 in January of 2015.
It took Nick’s brother Nate and fellow self-proclaimed gangster Jorge Masvidal to force the UFC’s hand into having them headline not only a pay-per-view, but one of the promotion’s biggest events of 2019 at Madison Square Garden.
The hype surrounding Diaz and Masvidal even forced UFC president Dana White to create a $50,000 BMF belt for a title that doesn’t even really exist, that being the title of the Baddest Motherf—er on the Planet.
In an era of Conor McGregor trash talk, Diaz and Masvidal didn’t even do much talking leading up to the fight… but fans and pundits alike still wanted to see it.
But did they live up to the hype?
In short they did, but the New York State Athletic Commission’s ringside doctor did not.
Both men stormed across the ring, but it was Diaz that put the pressure on early, swarming with punch combinations. It was Masvidal, however, who landed the first significant moves of the fight.
As Diaz swarmed, Masvidal clinched and put him on the fence, doing damage with sharp elbows and knees. They separated and Masvidal landed a kick to the face that dropped Diaz to the canvas.
Masvidal landed several punches with Diaz on his back, many from while standing in Diaz’s guard, but eventually backed off and forced him to stand.
They traded hard shots throughout the remainder of the round, but it was Masvidal, dancing in and out of Diaz’s range, that landed the harder, more accurate shots. He forced a waterfall of blood to cascade down the right side of Diaz’s face because of a cut over his right eye and another across his right cheek.
Diaz stormed across the cage again to start the second stanza, but Masvidal remained elusive, allowing few of Diaz’s punches to hit their mark, while he landed several combinations both to Diaz’s head and body.
Diaz kept pressing forward, and it cost him. Masvidal landed a punch combination and followed with another right hand that staggered Diaz. Masvidal pressed with more punches, forcing Diaz to the canvas.
This time, Masvidal forced Diaz to return to his feet rather quickly. A short time later, they were clinched on the fence with Masvidal landing a knee to the body and several punches. Diaz was firing back the entire time, particularly with his pawing style punches, but Masvidal’s arsenal was more varied, as he landed harsh knees to the body that were slowing Diaz, who was continually wiping blood from his right eye.
Round three started not with Diaz swarming, but taking a more measured approach. It worked for a short time, as he tried to find a way through Masvidal’s defenses. Masvidal, however, started teeing up with kicks to the body, all the while mixing in the occasional punch combination, as Diaz continued to swipe blood from around his eye.
Diaz attempted a takedown, but Masvidal stuffed it, stayed tight and planed Diaz on his back, going to work from inside guard. Diaz punched and hammerfisted from his back, but Masvidal closed the round with hard elbows and punches before the horn.
As everyone geared up for round four, the ringside doctor stepped into the cage to check the cut over Diaz’s right eye and the one on his cheek. Diaz insisted he was good to go.
While it was a bad cut, it didn’t appear to be a fight stopper, but the ringside doctor determined that Diaz shouldn’t continue and forced referee Dan Miragliotta to call a halt to the bout ahead of round four.
Nobody was happy with the result, including Masvidal, who immediately insisted that they could “run it back,” as fans booed loudly.
“We’re gonna run it back New York. We gave you three good rounds. Don’t boo me. We’re gonna run it back, so don’t worry about it,” he insisted.
“I’m not the f—-ing doctor man, so don’t boo me when you wouldn’t boo me to my face.”
Diaz also mentioned that a cut he suffered in his fight with Anthony Pettis a few weeks ago caused the cuts to come easier.
“Yeah, I was f—-ed because I had a cut from my fight (with Pettis),” said Diaz.
“Especially today, I had a little bit of an issue so I couldn’t run as much as I usually do. My game plan was starting to kick in, but congrats to Jorge for (doing what he did).
“But I’m coming back for yo ass motherf—-er.”