The result to Jorge Masvidal versus Nate Diaz at UFC 244 couldn’t have gone better for the UFC. Although UFC President Dana White and others will have shown their frustrations with a New York Athletic Commission doctor stopping the fight due to the gruesome cuts above and below Diaz’s right eye, the finish was brilliant.
The bout, which awarded the BMF title to Masvidal, was one of the most hyped UFC has had to offer in some time. Held at Madison Square Garden, the match between Masvidal and Diaz had a hot crowd that was into the entire fight and every punch was felt. It wasn’t hard for the fans in attendance or watching at home to be into the bout. The two fighters went at it hammer and tong with the match staying upright for 95% of the three rounds.
Immediately after the fight, White stated that there is little interest in a Masvidal-Diaz rematch. The UFC would be missing a huge payday if they did not bring the fighters back immediately for another fight, however. The doctor stoppage was a perfect result for the UFC as neither fighter lost face with fans. Masvidal did not beat Diaz in the eyes of many fans as the New York Athletic Commission doctor stopped the fight as the fourth round was about to begin. Diaz was ready to go out to fight once more and the stoppage brought on a chorus of boos from fans.
The heat is not on the fighters but on the doctor, which means fans will go crazy for the rematch to see the two gladiators fight once more with a true winner being crowned.
The result smacks of professional wrestling from Starrcade 1984 when Dusty Rhodes was defeated by Ric Flair due to blood stoppage just as the former was about to win the NWA World Heavyweight belt. A worked bout or script couldn’t have been written better by the UFC.
Unfortunately, the UFC looks destined to let a possible rematch fall by the wayside. Diaz has stated he “wants a rematch” but politics inside the mixed martial arts promotion could see the fighter take another long layoff. White has already intimated that Masvidal will have other interests to pursue. Masvidal is currently ranked third in the UFC Welterweight division and could have a title fight with Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman in the near future despite two other fighters standing in his way.
Diaz’s star is high as is Masvidal’s, which is all the reason for the UFC to have the duo headline another event in six months’ time. UFC can build up the rematch without either man competing for the time being with fans promised a winner and no blood stoppage in the return match.
How big was Saturday night’s fight between Masvidal and Diaz? Despite neither man being a title holder, UFC created the BMF belt for the winner of the Madison Square Garden UFC 244 main event. The belt was presented by former WWE World Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and even controversial United States President Donald Trump was in attendance. That kind of hype does not come around often and the same emotion and fight-quality is certainly not evoked by a lot of other UFC fights.
The UFC has a potentially huge rematch on the cards. If they let the dust settle this week and begin promoting a Masvidal versus Diaz II, then millions of dollars could be made. Instead, Masvidal looks set to battle Usman soon for the Welterweight belt and Diaz could be ushered into another spell on the sidelines.