Nate Diaz made his highly anticipated return to the UFC in the co main event at UFC 244, where he showcased exactly why he is one of the UFC’s biggest stars. Much to the delight of fans, Diaz turned the fight into a phone booth war, earning himself a unanimous decision win in the process. And the fun did not stop there, Diaz delivered yet another memorable post fight interview by calling out Jorge Masvidal to see who is the “Baddest M**********r” in the UFC.
Jorge is also coming off a memorable win, decapitating Askren within 5 seconds of their fight with a ferocious flying knee. Like Nate, Jorge has earned himself a great deal of respect from the fans for his no nonsense approach to the fight ground.
The authenticity of both fighters is what makes this fight one of the biggest of 2019, for both fighters its as simple as if you chat s**t about them, they’re going to do something about it. No trash talk, no corny back and forth, this is as real as it gets. Take Leon Edwards for example, at UFC London he decided to confront Jorge. A bad decision. True to himself, Jorge replied with a 3 piece and soda cutting Leon Edwards in the process. Likewise when Khabibs team had words for the Diaz brothers, a mass brawl erupted within seconds. I can’t say it enough, it doesn’t get more real than these two fighters!
There’s no doubt this fight is hard to call, both fighters have been around the block with an combined 80 pro fights. To make it even better, it’s likely this fight remains on the feet as both fighters have an impressive striking skill set and don’t attempt many takedowns.
Factor #1 – 5 Rounds
The first thing you have to look at when trying to make a prediction for this fight is the rounds, both fighters need to be ready for 5 rounds come the 2nd November. This is a huge advantage for Diaz. Although he is known to be a slow starter when Nate gets into his flow it’s almost impossible to stop him, his relentless cardio combined with the fact he feeds on watching an opponent tire in front of him means he is in his element in these 5 round fights. As for Masvidal, he is known to coast in fights resulting in him losing many decisions. The two times he has gone 5 rounds he has lost both times and is 0-5 in split decisions. If he is unable to put a stop to diaz or at least slow him down in the first two rounds, it could be a very long night for Masvidal.
Factor #2 – The Reads
It’s hard to argue against Masvidal having one of the better striking skill sets in the Welterweight division. His ability to make reads is second to none, his wins against Askren and Till may have looked like chaos but were actually the result of his ability to make them reads quickly. He knew how Askren approaches every fight with his head down looking for the takedown, he was clever enough to feint his left hook a few times to see how Till would react before finally committing to it. You can’t underestimate Masvidal’s fight intelligence. Furthemore Diaz is a pretty predictable fighter, you know he’s going to march forward and hit you with a disgusting amount of punches and slaps. If Masvidal can make reads and figure out how to keep Diaz away from him, there is no denying he may be able to take the win.
Factor #3 – Ground Game
Jorge Masvidal is no stranger to the ground game. He showcased his expertise against Demian Maia (one of the best submissionists the UFC has ever seen), Jorge was able to stop the majority of takedowns as well as handling the top pressure from the Brazilian relatively easily. That said if the fight does find its way to the ground, it could be over for Gamebred. Diaz’s jiu jitsu is up there with the best in the UFC, his transitioning is second to none, he is 2nd on the all time amount of submissions list and combine that with the fact that Diaz likes to deplete the opponents gas tank before showcasing his jiu jitsu. Masvidal could be in big trouble if the fight went to the ground, especially in the later rounds
I feel Masvidal ability to make reads and his distance control won’t be enough in this bout. Masvidal is known to coast towards the later rounds of a fight and if theres one man to take advantage of this, it’d be Nate Diaz. I expect Diaz to rely on his toughness to get through the first round or two and pick up from there, growing into the match and turning this fight into a phone booth war. I do think Masvidal is tough enough to not get finished but expect a Unanimous decision win for Nate Diaz due to his relentless pressure and the threat of his ground game.