Dana White confirmed the news to ESPN
“It is the fight fans wanted to see; Nate Diaz called out Masvidal after his win over 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.”
“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.”
Usually, title fights headline the big pay-per-view shows but White also confirmed that there will be no title fight on this card.
“I would never put a title fight underneath this. There won’t be a title fight.”
However, the UFC did originally plan to have a title fight on this show between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington but, according to ESPN, the UFC could not come to a deal with Covington. Then Masvidal signed a deal to fight Usman for the title but terms were not agreed with Usman. Finally, the UFC threatened to strip Usman and do Masvidal vs Leon Edwards for the vacant title but talks stopped as the Diaz vs Masvidal fight was made.
Diaz returned from a three-year layoff with a dominant victory over Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 and respectfully called out Masvidal to fight for the “Bad Motherfucker” title. Diaz has always been a fan favourite and his return generated a lot of attention in the game.
Masvidal is also riding high and generating a lot of attention coming off of the fastest knockout in UFC history over Ben Askren. A convincing win over a star name like Diaz would boost Masvidal’s name even further and likely get him a 170lb title shot.
The fight makes sense for both guys at the moment as Diaz gets to fight someone who presents a good stylistic matchup and will stand and trade with him in an exciting fight. Masvidal also gets a fun stand up style matchup which he prefers as well as a big name, and likely a big paycheck, to continue moving his career forward.
Expect to see some high-level boxing on display with the slick head movement and shoulder rolls of Diaz against the powerful counter punching of Masvidal. Kicks and takedown attempts are likely to be few and far between in this one, but we could see some of that patented Diaz clinch work and dirty boxing that he displayed against Pettis.