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21st Aug 2019

‘Let’s give the fans a fight they want to see – two dogs locked in the cage’

Patrick McCarry

Masvidal Diaz

Toss Tony Ferguson versus the winner of the Donald Cerrone fight with Justin Gaethje onto the card and you’ve got a winner.

Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal are on a collision course, and we should be in store for a cracker.

After 155 weeks away from the UFC, Nate Diaz returned at the weekend to out-class and out-point former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Following the victory, Diaz awarded himself the title of ‘Baddest Motherf***er in the Game’ and stated his intention to defend that title.

“With this belt,” he declared, “I want to defend it against… Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight.

“All respect to the man, but there ain’t no gangsters in this game anymore. There ain’t nobody who does it right but me and him.

“So I know my man’s a gangster, but he ain’t no West Coast gangster.”

Masvidal was cage-side as the Californian made his call-out and he roared on his approval. Masvidal, who viciously knocked out Ben Askren and Darren Till in his last two bouts, posted a video to YouTube, on Tuesday, and readily accepted the Diaz challenge.

The video, entitled ‘Jorge Masvidal Responds To Nate Diaz’, begins with the 34-year-old playing a video arcade game before he turns to the camera. Masvidal says he is ‘ready to do it’ in California. He says:

“We’re ready for this fight, man. We’re ready. We’re just negotiating it now, and let’s give the fans a fight they want to see – two dogs locked in the cage, going for the jugular.

“You know that I could get hit with a baseball bat, it don’t mean nothing. It’s the same thing with my rival. You can hit that dude with a f***ing baseball bat to the kneecaps, he’s just gonna keep coming. It’s a fight that the fans want and they’re gonna get, man.

“I’m going to give it my all, Nate’s going to give it his all. Let’s do it.”

Asked how soon he would be ready to throw down with Diaz, Masvidal said he is prepared to go in December rather than November. That would rule out UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden, which has been mooted as the return event and venue for Conor McGregor.