Masvidal vs Diaz Live :: UFC 244’s entire bout sheet, leading their way up to the Co-Main showcasing Middleweights Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till, and wrapping up the C/DC quick-picks preview portion of the show with a Main Event featuring a Welterweight Bout for the #BMF Title between Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal and Nate Diaz. The event will be taking place this Saturday, November 2nd, 2019, from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
It wouldn’t be fight week with Nate Diaz without some sort of shakeup in the lead up to the event. Last Thursday Diaz tweeted that he would not be making the trip to New York because of testing positive for a banned substance, it sent the MMA world into a frenzy. It left us wondering if we were on the verge of losing the highly-anticipated fight of the year. Having to deal with the prospect of losing it, only to get it the issue resolved and the bout with Jorge Masvidal on 72 hours later, brought the excitement for this contest to a whole new level. Fight week has finally arrived, and two of the most polarizing figures in MMA right now will meet on Saturday night.
On paper, this fight is as close as it gets, two boxing-heavy seasoned veterans at the peak of their careers, riding their newfound fame and on the precipice of entering another stratosphere of stardom. Both Diaz and Masvidal are also similar in that they both possess a blend of street toughness and the elite level skill that is rare to see at this level in the game.
Diaz’s pitter-patter style of throwing punches and scoring cumulative damage is a great quality. People often confuse this style with not having power but Diaz has power, he just concerns himself more with being accurate and as landing as much as humanly possible. For a lot of fighters having such a high output can be concerning in terms of the diminishment of cardio, but not Diaz. As amazing as his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is and as brilliant of a boxer he is, it’s his cardio coupled with heart that separates him from the rest.
Masvidal is incredibly tough, very dangerous, and is every bit as experienced as his counterpart. His striking style differs from Diaz in a couple of ways. Masvidal is very technical and likes to throw his punches straight down the centerline with speed. While Diaz throws his punches almost in a slower, but well-timed loopy fashion, the angles that the strikes come from are usually pretty wide, and that bodes well for a striker like Masvidal who throws his punches straight down the pipe. Purley from a boxing standpoint, Masvidal will be able to land on Diaz and cause damage, the sharp straight forward punching of Masvidal is bound to split the guard a time or two.
Playing the striking game is dangerous and even the best striker doesn’t always win. It’s a game of inches, and it only takes one to change the course of the entire fight in an instant. With the contrast in boxing styles, Masvidal will have a lot of opportunities to score some significant strikes.
Diaz does do a really good job of leaning back when taking punches, it plays a big part in his ability to absorb damage and never take a step backward. It wouldn’t be wise to lean too heavily on this defensive tactic against a fighter like Masvidal who has shown his ability to shut the lights out with a single strike. Masvidal has tenacity and aggression that is not to be taken lightly, there is also something to be said about the wave of momentum he is riding coming off of two devastating knock-outs. The last of which is quite possibly the most impressive in MMA history.
These two are so evenly matched on the feet it’s hard to know how it playout out in terms of who ultimately comes out on top. We know both are going to be swinging, so any outcome is conceivable.
However, on the ground, this fight isn’t so evenly matched. In fact if anything, it could be considered a mismatch with Diaz having the advantage. Not to discredit Masvidal, he has proven to be competent on the ground. But with just two submission victories out of thirty-four professional wins against someone who is widely considered one of the best jujitsu talents in the game, it’s a tall order for the Miami native. But don’t think that will make Diaz look to take this fight to this position to have the upper hand, because it won’t.
Diaz has some of the very highest levels of BJJ in the game and has a history of straight-up choosing to not use it just based on the principle of not avoiding a fistfight. It’s an admirable trait and one that endears him to the fanbase. But if his last fight versus Anthony Pettis was an indication, he is coming around to the idea of being willing to enter the grappling realm if a good opportunity presents itself.
This fight is going to be a war, and amid a gritty battle against Masvidal, such opportunities will arise and Diaz will be ready to capitalize on them. At one point or another this fight ends up on the ground, and when it does, Diaz will look to go for the kill.