UFC 244 is just a few days away, and the anticipation is building up. With the ‘BMF’ Title on the line for Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, the card has generated a rare form of excitement over the past few weeks.
There is a different feeling to this Madison Square Garden card compared to the past three. Mainly, past three cards held at MSG all had at least one title fight. Both UFC 205 and UFC 217 consisted of three title fights headlining the card, while Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis took the main event assignment for UFC 230. Needless to say, it is no secret that the UFC has always given its best to put on the most stacked card possible in their MSG visits.
This year, however, they decided to take a different route. Instead of stacking the main card with numerous title fights, the UFC decided to give back to the fans with a card full of fan favorites. I mean, take a look at some of the names on the card:
The list tells you exactly why this card is for the fans. While there is only one former/current champion on the card (Arlovski), the card still generates a lot of excitement.
Much of the card’s promotion and excitement has gone to promoting the main event (as it should have). After making his long-awaited return at UFC 241 in August, Diaz immediately called out Masvidal, although in the most respectful way possible in Diaz’s book.
This immediately generated massive amount of interest among the fans. Now, if you remember, since defeating Conor McGregor back in March of 2016, Diaz has been one of the biggest names in the game. The fans have always backed the Diaz brothers. Whether they won or lost, their personalities and fighting styles have always resonated with the fans. When Diaz defeated McGregor in a shocking upset at UFC 196, it only skyrocketed his fame.
Even when Diaz was involved in a scandalous drug test during late October, the fans supported him. When it was revealed that Diaz was cleared to compete again, and the finding was simply tainted vitamins, the fans rejoiced for someone who said many times, “Everybody is on steroids.”
For Masvidal, UFC 244 is an opportunity of a lifetime. Masvidal has always been extremely up front about his goals; wanting to become the best, and setting his daughter up for education. His authenticity as a person and character has always put him over as a fan favorite as well. Especially with his recent emphatic wins over Till and Askren, Masvidal has been a strong topic of interest for 2019. With a win, particularly a finish over Diaz, Masvidal has the potential to become the biggest name in the sport.
Both men are expected to receive a hefty check post-fight, as they both deserve. If Masvidal is able to knock Diaz out, or even submit him for that matter, the future looks extremely bright for the Miami native: Not only is he likely next in line for the winner of Usman/Covington in December, but he will be one of the biggest stars in the sport in terms of pay and popularity, among guys like Nurmagomedov and Adesanya.
Another factor is the ‘BMF’ Title. Should Masvidal beat Diaz, he will have the title of being the ‘BMF’ attached next to his name. Considering all the promotion done for the fight, it is hard to imagine that this title will go away after UFC 244. It could certainly be a promoting tactic in the future, and although it is uncertain how the UFC will go about with it, it’s going to be interesting to say the least.
The stakes are high for UFC 244, as is the anticipation. It feels refreshing, to see two of the most authentic fighters in the game compete against one another. There isn’t many people who is as deserving of a potential success as Masvidal, and with a statement win this Saturday, he will get all that is coming to him.
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