mma / News

Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal Set to Headline UFC 244

September 7, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Nate Diaz

Speaking to ESPN, UFC President Dana White revealed that Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal has been signed. Per White, the fight will be a five-round, non-title main event at the upcoming UFC 244 event at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on the match-up, “It is the fight fans wanted to see. Nate Diaz called out Masvidal after his win over [Anthony] Pettis. Everybody has been talking about it. People have been hitting me up on social media, telling me to get it done. I can now announce the fight is done.”

White added, “It’s one of those fights that is fun, interesting, fans are into it, you want to see for five rounds — yet it’s too big to be a fight night. So we made it a pay-per-view. I will end up stacking this card with killer fights. The main event will be those two.”

The UFC has usually avoided booking non-title fights for pay-per-view or numbered events in recent years. On why the UFC made this decision, in booking a main event, non-title bout, White said, “I would never put a title fight underneath this. There won’t be a title fight [at MSG].”

According to ESPN’s report, the UFC was looking to book a welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington at UFC 244. However, the UFC was unable to come to terms with Covington on a deal. The UFC then tried to book the title bout between Masvidal and Usman. After agreeing to terms with Masvidal, the UFC failed to make a deal come together for the fight with Usman. After that, a reported threat was made to strip Usman of the belt and then the UFC reportedly reached out to Leon Edwards to possibly fight Masvidal for the vacant title.

However, before talks with Edwards moved further, an opportunity came together quickly to book Nate Diaz vs. Masvidal as the headling fight for MSG. Per the report, the UFC finalized the fight booking on Friday (Sept. 6).

Nate Diaz last fought at UFC 241 last month, beating former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis by decision. Jorge Masvidal last fought at UFC 239 in July, knocking out Ben Askren in five seconds in the first round.

UFC 244 is scheduled for Saturday, November 2 at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.