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Morning Report: Manager: Jorge Masvidal wants to fight Nate Diaz in Nate’s backyard

On Saturday night at UFC 241, Nate Diaz returned to the UFC in spectacular fashion, dominating former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. After the the fight, Diaz immediately began calling for a bout with Jorge Masvidal, saying he wanted to defend his “baddest motherf*cker in the game” belt against the other “best martial artist” in the sport. Masvidal, who was in attendance at UFC 241, seemed to be into the idea when Diaz called him out and now his manager says that the wheels are already in motion to get it done.

Speaking yesterday with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Masvidal’s manager Abe Kawa said Masvidal and his team believe that’s the fight to make next, that the UFC has already floated the idea, and that they should be meeting sometime this week to discuss it.

“I believe so. I believe that’s a good fight, I think both of these guys will go on, put on a show for everybody and I think that’s what we all want,” Kawa said. “I’m a fight fan at heart, before everything else and if you’re a fight fan, this is like Christmas for everybody. . .

“Right after the fight, I had a brief conversation with the higher-ups and it looks like they like the fight. That being said, we should be getting together sometime this week to see how that goes.”

Those negotiations should be fairly simple. After Diaz’s win and callout, a Diaz-Masvidal fight quickly became one of the most anticipated bouts possible for the UFC. The one issue though could be the paychecks. Diaz has been a notoriously tricky customer for the UFC to deal with at the negotiation table and Masvidal, with his newfound star power, appears to be trending in the same direction. On Saturday, Masvidal insisted that he’d be demanding a paycheck that reflects his new stardom and has previously said that the only fights he was interested in were a title shot or Conor McGregor. With Nate now on the table, Kawa says the latter part is not an issue but that Masvidal still deserves, and will get, more money.

“I think that’s inevitable,” Kawa said. “The guy’s put 16 years into the game. He’s never been a problem for anybody, whether it comes to USADA, whether it comes to making weight whether, it comes to showing up, being on time, putting on shows, he’s always done it. So I think he’s put in his time and I think the UFC understands that, the fans understand that, and I think Nate understands that. He just wants to get a payday, wants to get his money. . .

“Everybody has to look at it from a financial standpoint for these guys. They are prize fighters. They’re not fighting just to say ‘Hey I’m a UFC fighter.’ They’re fighting for a paycheck and if the biggest paycheck at the time comes with the title, then why would he take a fight outside of that? Now if a bigger paycheck presents itself, then I think the title becomes moot. I don’t think the title at that point is the biggest fight so I think that’s absolutely the exception.”

Fortunately for the UFC, Masvidal is willing to throw in a sweetener to the negotiations. Kawa says Masvidal would be fine with having the fight at Madison Square Garden or Las Vegas if that’s what the UFC decides, but that he’d also be more than happy to take on Diaz in Diaz’s own backyard.

“I think December in Vegas is probably where he would prefer it,” Kawa said. “Actually, he wants to go to Cali where Nate’s from. I don’t want to give too much, I’d rather it come from Jorge than me, so I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. But he looks at this fight more like the [Darren] Till [fight]; he’s gonna go into someone else’s backyard and he prefers that over anything else. So if Vegas is the closest thing he could get to Cali, then, you know, Vegas.”

Heading to California may be the perfect setting for the UFC with this fight. After all, when Diaz called out Masvidal he said “I know my man’s a gangster but he ain’t no West Coast gangster” and, as Kawa says, the world loves a good old West vs. East rivalry.

“The East Coast swag is different than the West Coast swag,” Kawa concluded. “We had Biggie and Tupac, and now we have Nate and Jorge.”


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We got the call

A post shared by Molly McCann-Pearson (@meatballmolly) on

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2005: Chuck Liddell knocked out Jeremy Horn to defend his light heavyweight title at UFC 54: Boiling Point.

2016: Conor McGregor won a majority decision in his rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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