The UFC 244 main event on Saturday will showcase two of the most rugged — and popular — fighters on the roster. Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz will step into the Octagon on Saturday for a welterweight fight with the newly minted, mythical BMF title on the line in the night’s main event.
Diaz, 34, returned to action in August after a nearly three-year hiatus a few months ago, defeating Anthony Pettis in a unanimous decision at UFC 241. In his most recent fight, Masvidal, also 34, knocked out Ben Askren in five seconds — a UFC record for fastest KO — in July.
We asked a respected trainer to anonymously break down Masvidal, then allowed the fighter to respond to his scouting report.
Trainer on Masvidal: Masvidal’s biggest strength is his momentum right now. He has had a great career, but just recently, these big wins (2019 victories over Askren and Darren Till) have given him a little bit of a push.
Masvidal: Damn right. Motion overrides pain, and momentum is motion. I’m ready to take what’s mine, man. That’s that BMF belt. At all costs.
Trainer: Now, here’s where I think he has a big advantage over Nate: He’s athletic and can switch stances well.
Masvidal: I’m more athletic than a majority of the [UFC] roster, not just Nate. I’m one of the most athletic dudes on the roster. There’s no coincidence I’m the fastest dude in the UFC universe as well. I’m a superhero, man. I’m not good at dribbling and catching balls, but when it comes to fighting, I’ve got that athleticism.
Trainer: As an all-around striker, Masvidal is a little better, with more options, which could give Nate some difficulty.
Masvidal: This is just math. It’s not an opinion. You can look it up. I have a good amount of knockouts in all areas. I have elbow KOs. I have body-shot KOs. When it comes to using all the limbs of the body, I give myself the advantage.
Trainer: That said, though Jorge’s wrestling is better than Nate’s, Nate’s jiu-jitsu is better than Jorge’s.
Masvidal: Nate is 10 times better than me as a jiu-jitsu man off his back. But I can take down anybody in my division. It’s not because my wrestling is Olympic-level. It’s because of my hands. Before you know it, I’m under the leg, and I scoop them up. And once you’re in the air, it doesn’t matter who you are. I’ll put you on your back, and I hold the wrestling advantage.
Trainer: But you don’t look to advance that much on the ground. Jorge could take Nate down to try to slow him, get him out of his game for a second.
Masvidal: No, that’s not why I would take him down. I’d take him down just because I feel like it. And I’d want to hurt him. I’d want to elbow and punch him in the face. Takedowns are possible. Maybe I do four or five takedowns a round. Or maybe it doesn’t happen once throughout the whole fight. It’s instinctual.
Trainer: It’s going to be barn burner, especially at night in Madison Square Garden. There’s no place to fight quite like the Garden. It’s all about how you perform under the lights.
Masvidal: I don’t think about those things. At the end of the day, it’s just a fight. I was meant to scrap, whether it’s in the parking lot of KFC or under the brightest lights. It’s a bonus that I’m headlining the biggest event of the year, the most anticipated fight in UFC history.
Trainer: I’m favoring Masvidal but wouldn’t be surprised if Diaz wins.
Masvidal: I’ll tell you this much: It ends in violence. Somebody is getting baptized, and it ain’t gonna be me.