When the idea of a possible fight is floated around there are some that love the idea, some that hate the idea, and some that could care less. Then there are those fights that are discussed and from the moment the idea becomes vocalized or written down for the masses to digest, everyone is on board and they cross their fingers in hopes that the promoter will hear the fanbase and the fighters that want the fight, and make it happen!
Nate Diaz presented the idea of a fight between himself and Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal immediately following his victory against Anthony “Showtime” Pettis at UFC 241 not quite a month ago. During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan he made the following very respectful non-Diaz like callout:
“The reason I was off is cause everybody sucked. There was nobody to fight. But with this belt, I wanna defend it against, Jorge Masvidal he had a good last fight. All respect to the man, but there ain’t no gangstas in this game anymore. There ain’t nobody who done it right but me and him. So I know my man’s a gangsta, but he ain’t no west coast gangsta.”
artwork by www.dosbrak.com
UFC President Dana White was listening to that post-fight, and Masvidal was in the crowd, and everyone while being hit with that bout out of nowhere, immediately was like, hell yeah! I would venture to guess some thought to themselves why didn’t we think of this?
Saturday Dana White during UFC 242 made it official and announced that Diaz vs. Masvidal will be the main event for UFC 244 November 2nd at Madison Square Garden and that they are fighting for The B.M.F (Baddest Mother Fu**er) Belt. White also made it clear that there will be a belt created for this fight, and that this is a one and done situation, and after November 2nd the BMF belt will never again be contested inside the octagon.
Two of the toughest guys to ever step into the octagon are going to put on a fight for the ages in my opinion. Both men love to scrap, and never back down. They share a mutual respect for this sport and one another which is an interesting part of all this. When two personalities of this magnitude are on a crash course for a fight, the leadup is usually fueled with smack talk of a rather venomous variety, however, their respect for another while admirable, may not produce that nasty style of trash talk that one would expect. Oh, there will be talk leading up to fight night, just not fake meaningless drivel. When they speak it will be as real as can be, these two don’t do fake!
It is very rare in combat sports for that the fans get a fight they really want to see, especially when it is a fighter who came up with the idea for said fight, and the promoter makes it happen at all, let alone as quickly as this all came together, and yet there are some people that are saying the UFC is making a mistake doing this whole BMF belt thing. Some are going as far as referring to it as the beginning of the end of the promotion! Calling for the circus antics of the UFC to stop, and some saying Dana White has lost his mind for doing this yet refusing to create a 165lb division! Yes, these are actual things being said.
Never one to miss an opportunity to verbally vomit about anything, of course, UFC welterweight Colby Covington chimed in with his thoughts on the situation. Saying that both Diaz and Masvidal are journeymen fighting for the JMF ( Journeyman Fighter) belt and that neither are needle movers on his level. Declaring that the PPV numbers won’t be there and the crowds won’t be there because nobody wants to see this fight! Take into consideration the fact that Covington would have main evented this show had he agreed to fight UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman on this night, but he didn’t and depending on who you talk to it was his fault that the fight didn’t happen. Despite his claims that he was willing and the UFC refused to pay him what he wanted. Sounds like sour grapes from Covington since he will now not be fighting at MSG, and will be missing out on a payday.
Covington and all the other detractors are in my opinion, wrong on all counts! First, Masvidal and Diaz are hot right now! The people want to see them fight, On top of that fact, they both have very loyal and cult-like fan bases that will support them till the day they hang up their gloves, so attendance in the arena and viewership numbers for the PPV will absolutely be there, some say this may be the biggest drawing PPV of this year, and they may be right!
This is not a “circus fight” this is an absolutely legitimate fight, and there are title implications in play besides the “BMF” belt. Both of these men are in the conversation of welterweight title contention, and whoever wins will be one step closer to getting a shot at UFC gold! Circus fights with “journeymen” don’t lead to title shots, real fights with real fighters do, and that’s what Masvidal vs. Diaz is!
As far as those commenting that Dana White has lost his mind I say this; Any human being who willingly decides to become a mixed martial arts fight promoter is absoultely 100% insane! So yes, he has lost his mind, but that happened long ago. However, the booking of this fight, the commissioning of this BMF Belt and everything to do with Masvidal vs. Diaz isn’t crazy, it’s genius and good business.
New fans will be created, the money will be made, bragging rights will be claimed, and the welterweight title picture which is a mess as of now may just become a bit clearer at the conclusion of UFC 244. What I am trying to figure out is how any of that a bad thing?
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.