Fans hoping to see a more definitive ending to Masvidal vs. Diaz got some bad news at the UFC 244 post-fight press conference.
Shortly after Masvidal and Diaz talked up an immediate rematch in octagon, UFC President Dana White poured cold water on the idea, arguing the result was definitive enough for his taste.
”No, it doesn’t interest me right away,” White told reporters backstage at Madison Square Garden. “I got asked a couple questions tonight – Diaz comes on in the later rounds, if they didn’t stop it, what would have happened? But it didn’t. It got stopped with cuts, and Masvidal looked very dominant.”
White had nothing but praise for “Gamebred,” whom he indicated should win the “Fighter of the Year” award for a series of impressive wins.
”I think he’s got some big options coming his way,” White said.
Masvidal was declared the winner at the 5:00 mark of the third round when a cageside doctor hired by the overseeing New York State Athletic Commission advised referee Dan Miragliotta to stop the bout. The crowd at Madison Square Garden instantly booed the decision. Masvidal and Diaz both softened the blow with talk of an instant rematch, but the ending lent a sour note to the one-off pseudo-title fight for the “BMF” belt.
Initially, White said he was on board for an immediate rematch, citing a nasty cut suffered by heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury (though Fury hasn’t fought in New York since 2013). But after looking at Diaz backstage, he changed his mind.
”His eyebrow was literally flipped over in front of his eye, and he had another huge gash under his eye, and then I started thinking, it’s easy sitting in my chair thinking the fight shouldn’t be stopped. The reason we love Diaz so much is he’s so tough and durable, but, I don’t know.
”These things happen, and it didn’t look good.”
White didn’t elaborate on the possible options for Masvidal, including a showdown with Conor McGregor, whom he once declared was “too big” for the former two-division champ. But it appears the surging fighter has to be included in the conversation for a title shot. Next month, a welterweight title fight between champ Kamaru Usman and ex-interim champ Colby Covington is set for UFC 245 next month. Masvidal has welcomed both a title shot and a showdown with his former friend and training partner Covington.
Running back a “BMF” fight might be good business down the road. But for now, Masvidal’s direction is forward.