It is UFC 244 week!
Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal will share their long-awaited dance after a pre-fight week debacle left many scared that this fight would not happen. No worries. The UFC and USADA both made public statements that this fight will happen as planned and both fighters are clean. So, lets rock.
Paths To The Octagon
Dissimilar paths will lead to a locked cage in Madison Square Garden on November 2nd. Diaz has been on a roller coaster of a career. The ride has led him to failed attempts at the WEC title and UFC Lightweight title. After beating Conor McGregor in March of 2016, Diaz solidified himself as not only an entertainment staple in mixed martial arts but as a highly proficient fighter. In August of 2016, he lost a closely scored decision in his rematch against McGregor.
He then took a three-year hiatus during which he was offered Georges St-Pierre and was also briefly booked to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 230. He made his highly anticipated return against Anthony Pettis at UFC 241, where he proved to still be one of the best 170-pound fighters in the world, winning by unanimous decision. Diaz called out Masvidal after his win and now this fight, according to Dana White, took “a life of its own.” What a treat!
Masvidal is a frontrunner for fighter of the year as he has had an unforgettable 2019 inside the octagon. After losing to Demain Maia and Stephen Thompson in 2017, Masvidal did not fight in 2018. In 2019, he returned to fight Darren Till in Till’s motherland. After landing a highlight-reel knockout in the second round, Masvidal put his name back on the list of highly touted 170-pound fighters.
Do I really need to talk about the following fight? Masvidal’s next opponent would be UFC newcomer and Olympic wrestler, Ben Askren. This fight took place at UFC 239, where he would again be an underdog. In this bout, he landed a world-shaking flying knee just five seconds in. The knee earned him another performance bonus and broke a UFC record. This launched him into MMA stardom. He is now arguably one of the best non-champion UFC draws.
After talks about him being in line for a title calmed down, Diaz’s callout after UFC 241 made this fight a layup for the UFC and matchmakers. A layup that will result in two of the baddest dudes on the planet locked in a cage for 25 minutes.
Trends and Statistics
- Jorge Masvidal, unlike his previous five fights, will be the betting favorite at -160. This is the first time he is the favorite since fighting Jake Ellenberger in December of 2016.
- Masvidal is 8-1 in the UFC when being favored.
- Nate Diaz will be the underdog for the 7th straight time and has been nine of his last ten fights. He is 6-3 in that stretch.
- Diaz has never won back to back decisions at any point in his career. His last two decision wins were followed by submission wins.
- Masvidal has never won a UFC fight in November. He went 0-3 in said bouts.
- Diaz has not won two fights in the same year since 2011
- Masvidal and Diaz have only been stopped in about 6% of each of their professional fights.
Unfortunately, cards like this have become a dime a dozen in today’s UFC, so enjoy UFC 244. If this fight reaches anywhere close to its towering expectations, we should be in for a treat. Enough words. Diaz and Masvidal. East coast vs. West coast. Let the men dance.