16 Sep, 2019

Jorge Masvidal: 'Let's see how the UFC plays' in negotiating Nate Diaz fight

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – When Nate Diaz called out Jorge Masvidal moments after his win at UFC 241, you didn’t have to imagine what “Gambred” was feeling.

Masvidal, who was in attendance last week at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., was shown on screen with a big smile on his face.

“Huge smile,” Masvidal said Thursday at American Top Team. And the reason for Masvidal’s elation is multi-layered.

“I mean, not just from the point that we could both make money – because I think I’m as popular as I’ve ever been and same with Nate, so it just would make sense on the financial side. But on the side of being a fan, who doesn’t want to see these two dogs get locked up in the cage and go?” Masvidal said. “Which one’s more dog at the end of the day? Let’s find out. … Let’s just find out who is the biggest dog in the division.”

In order for that to happen, three interested parties will have to be on the same page: Masvidal, Diaz and, of course, the UFC. Masvidal and Diaz generally seem to be in lockstep. All they want is a pay increase – and likely a significant one – to take part in a fight that has MMA fans salivating.

It’s that last party that has Masvidal a little concerned.

Diaz vs. Masvidal has the potential to be the biggest fight of the year, given both fighters’ current status as UFC stars. Masvidal’s big turn has come on the heels of devastating back-to-back knockout wins over Darren Till and Ben Askren, respectively, the latter of which occurred in a record-setting 5 seconds last month at UFC 239. Masvidal’s “three-piece and soda” scuffle with Leon Edwards also helped.

As for Diaz, a highly anticipated return from a three-year layoff at UFC 241 led to a sellout crowd and the event breaking the all-time live gate record for MMA in California. After Diaz soundly defeated ex-champ Anthony Pettis, White went so far as to put the Stockton native in the same category as blockbuster stars Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor.

All that being said, Diaz vs. Masvidal seems like a fight every fan wants to see, one that could easily headline a pay-per-view. But Masvidal is wary.

“Let’s see how the UFC plays. Is it gonna play hard ball, or are they gonna give into what the fans (expletive) want?” Masvidal said. “Are they gonna listen to the fans or not? If the fight doesn’t get made, it’s not because I don’t want it, or Nate doesn’t want it. It’s because we’re not getting what we want. It’s sad to say. That’d be the only way it doesn’t go down.”

In that department, things might’ve already gotten off on the wrong foot. On the same day Masvidal announced that negotiations for the fight already were underway, UFC president Dana White said “no progress” has been made.

Even as uncertainty prevails surrounding a potential showdown, one thing is for certain to Masvidal if it does happen.

“Me and Nate ain’t even gonna have to do too much press conference, because the fight speaks for itself,” he said. “People are just gonna want to see that (expletive). You’re gonna pay your hard-earned money, but you’re gonna have to compensate me for that. …

“I just know I didn’t place my ducks in a row; Nate did the same thing. We’re on a collision course, but we gotta get compensated for it, man. That’s it. That’s all we’re (expletive) saying. That’s all I’m (expletive) saying. I just want to get compensated for my (expletive) services.”

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