What seemed like a mutual respect shared between Masvidal and the Diaz brothers in the wake of the UFC 244 main event has seemingly disintegrated over the past week.
First came Nate Diaz declaring at the post-fight press conference that he was just getting started when the fight with Masvidal was stopped at the close of the third round due to cuts on his face he had suffered during the bout. At the time, Diaz was angling for an immediate rematch with Masvidal.
Days later, Diaz then proclaimed “f*ck a rematch” while stating that he was checking out of the fight game for the time being to focus on other endeavors.
He later posted a photo from the fight with a caption that read “this is the time in the fight where him and I realized he didn’t wanna be in this fight anymore.”
Masvidal responded on Tuesday while appearing on The Dan LeBatard Show when he was asked about the younger Diaz brother’s comments after the fight was finished.
“If you’ve seen me fight, you know I’m a surgeon in there,” Masvidal stated. “I’m always thinking a couple steps ahead and you can see the work that was being laid out, not just to the head but to the body as well. His strategy that he wasn’t in that good of shape so he was saving it for the fourth and fifth round, that’s crazy. Does that make sense to you?”
While Diaz is well known for his conditioning, the Stockton, Calif., native had pointed out that he was not at his physical best due to an injury that prevented him from completing the kind of cardio work that would typically prepare him for a five-round war.
Diaz did manage to stage a comeback against Conor McGregor in the latter rounds of their rematch back in 2016 after he was dropped several times in the first two rounds (McGregor would go on to win a majority decision). As impressive as that might have been, Masvidal points out that he’s not McGregor and he wasn’t going to slow down in those final 10 minutes of the fight.
“Against McGregor [he came back] but we’re talking about a tiger from the wild and an animal that’s been domesticated. It’s a huge difference,” Masvidal said. “I don’t get tired and shy away from anybody. I’ve lost fights and been out-pointed or I’ve been out-skilled in a position but I’ve never lost a fight because my fatigue was in question and I was hurt and I was tired and I was backing up. My nickname dictates I’m not going to take a step back. Whether I’m tired or hurt, you’re just going to get more of a dog out of me.
“Diaz knew that but he’s got to sell the rematch. He’s got to say things. I saw him put out something ‘the moment that you thought about quitting’ when I’m on top of him punching him in the face. This guy’s a mind reader man.”
Masvidal’s dominant performance at UFC 244 also caught the attention of Diaz’s older brother Nick, who hasn’t fought since 2015.
Nick Diaz took exception to comments that were made post-fight where Masvidal claimed he wanted to “baptize” his younger brother Nate, which means to knock someone out cold with no debate about the stoppage.
”You want to talk about baptizing my younger brother? That’s on you,” Nick Diaz said in an interview with ESPN. “I never had nothing disrespectful to say. But you don’t talk about baptizing my younger brother. You’re already in a f*king position if you fight with me. You don’t talk like that to nobody.”
Masvidal almost seemed confused by Diaz’s response because he couldn’t quite figure out if the former UFC title contender was actually calling him out or not.
“Is he asking to fight?” Masvidal said. “I was confused or are we going for a walk some place? He’s asking for a fight? He’s asking for a fight or to go for a walk? Does he know who he’s asking for a fight?
“Cause I love to fight, especially when I get a little something on top of that.”
While a rematch with Nate or a showdown with his older brother Nick seems possible, Masvidal isn’t committing to anything until he knows how much his bank account will grow by signing on the dotted line.
“We don’t know who’s next but everybody’s looking like cash symbols, cash money to us right now,” Masvidal explained. “The next person is going to be the one that puts the most zeros in the bank account, who that [is].
“A lot of people are saying my name now. They didn’t want to fight me before, like a year or two [ago], they didn’t want to fight me. Everybody wants to call me out now. So it’s funny to me because these same guys didn’t want to fight me two or three years ago.”