The Payout Pick: UFC 244 Main Event Masvidal-Diaz

November 1, 2019

It’s the biggest fight of the year thus far and there’s not even bad blood between the two participants.  But Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal will be fighting for the UFC’s version of its BMF belt.

Diaz is coming off an impressive unanimous decision win over Anthony Pettis this past August.  Prior to that Diaz, had been on a 3-year hiatus.  Yet, his popularity seems to have grown despite his time away from the organization.

Masvidal’s 5 second KO of Ben Askren was a career defining moment which has propelled him to the elite echelon of UFC fighters that can make demands and the UFC actually listens.

So, who wins the fight?

Masvidal is the #3 ranked Welterweight in the UFC.

Diaz is the #7 ranked Welterweight in the UFC

But, let’s face it.  Rankings don’t matter here. Neither of these guys aren’t really worried about the winner of the Karmaru Usman-Colby Covington winner next month.

Masvidal is coming in as the favorite (-160 per multiple books) having won his last 4 fights via KO.  Diaz is listed as +130 although I would think that the line comes down a little before this fight.

It’s obvioius that the fight stays on the feet as that what the people want and that’s what the fighters specialize in.  Despite Diaz’s superior ground game, expect most of the fight will stay with striking although if this fight were to end up on the mat, Diaz would have the advantage.  Don’t expect Masvidal to take Diaz down unless he’s desperate.  Despite submission victories, there’s no way that Masvidal can tap out Diaz.

Masvidal might be coming in a little more replenished on fight night after making weight.  Yet, Diaz, a triathlete by hobby and someone with excellent cardio, should not tire.  Can Masvidal use what appears to be a strength and weight advantage to bully Diaz up against the cage and win dirty boxing exchanges?  Hard to fathom, but this could be the path to victory.

As this is a five-round fight, its hard to imagine that either Masvidal or Diaz is stopped here.  Diaz has one of the toughest chins in the business.  Conversely, he has not stopped an opponent since 2013.

This fight will go the distance.  Even with the two trading punches most of the 5 rounds, its hard to fathom either one gets knocked out.  One would suspect that a fighter would have to be on the verge of unconsciousness for the referee to stop this one.  As for the winner, I suspect Nate Diaz’s conditioning gets him to victory via split decision.  Still, expect this one to be very close with people clamoring for a rematch.

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