Though the highly anticipated bout between Jorge Masvidal (35-13) and Nate Diaz (20-12) did deliver as the contest was going on, it was the conclusion of the fight, along with the entire event, that left many disappointed despite an evening of strong fights.
Masvidal largely controlled the action, stunning Diaz early in the first round and proving to be the aggressor throughout, though Diaz flashed some key moments in rocking Masvidal with check left hooks in rounds two and three.
Still, Masvidal led on all scorecards by one score of 30-27 and two scores of 30-26 prior to a controversial stoppage prior to the beginning of round four.
An octagon-side doctor waved off the fight – due to a gash above Diaz’s left eye – to the displeasure of the audience. This awarded Masvidal the victory and the official Baddest Mother [Expletive] Title, which was presented by fellow Miamian Dewayne “The Rock” Johnson.
UFC president Dana White said that he initially disagreed with the decision, as did the booing audience, but changed his tune upon seeing Diaz backstage.
“At first I was pissed off,” White acknowledged at the press conference to end the evening. “Then I walked back and I saw Nate and his eyebrow was literally flipped over in front of his eye and he had another huge gash under his eye.”
Diaz still disagreed and wanted to continue.
“Every fight I get cut,” an annoyed Diaz said. “I heard that my eye was the same coming out of the second round as it was coming out of the third round. The doctor played me.”
Diaz also says that he suffered a knee injury that prevented him from running in training camp for over two weeks, which disrupted his cardio training, which he is known for. The veteran contender also says that the only fight he wants next is a rematch.
“I need to get my rematch,” he demanded.
Masvidal, who celebrated his championship presser by eating cold pizza and drinking a 40-ounce bottle of Modelo, said in between bites that he would grant Diaz a rematch. However, he does acknowledge that he wants a money fight next, whether or not it’s against Diaz.
“I’m the most competitive person this whole company has ever seen,” he said. “Are we gonna rematch tomorrow? Next week? I don’t know, but the rematch will happen at some point. I’m open to the money and he’s a money fight.”