Both Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz may be preoccupied with Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards, respectively over the next month, however, for Masvidal at least, he’s still open to the idea of running back the controversial conclusion to their UFC 244 BMF championship clash.
Headlining UFC 261 on April 24th., American Top Team mainstay, Masvidal rematches Usman for the undisputed welterweight championship at a sold-out Vystar Veteran’s Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
For the returning Stockton native, Diaz, he makes his first Octagon outing since UFC 244 in November of 2019, drawing the #3 ranked welterweight contender, Edwards in the first-ever non-title, five-round co-main event in the history of the promotion at UFC 262 on May 15th.
Meeting for the symbolic BMF championship at Madison Square Garden at UFC 244 — Masvidal dropped Diaz in the opening and second round, before a third-round doctor’s stoppage forced an end to the matchup, with a notable laceration developed both below and above Diaz’s right eye.
Initially, both men appeared to be open to the prospect of an immediate rematch, with reports last September detailing how the promotion had briefly targeted a January pay-per-view event rematch between the two, which ultimately failed to come to fruition.
Speaking with ESPN MMA reporter, Ariel Helwani recently ahead of his re-run with Usman later this month, Masvidal commented on brief plans for a rematch with Diaz following his UFC 251 title challenge loss to Usman, claiming that they’ll eventually stand opposite each other again in the future.
“My camp was talking to his (Nate Diaz) camp,” Masvidal said. “It didn’t happen, I don’t know what the exact logistics are. He didn’t like the date, maybe he thought about it even more and he’s like ‘This guy’s gonna destroy my face again’ and maybe he wants to have a modeling career or something. I don’t know. I told him I’d run it back, so you can believe that.“
Leaving Diaz with a notable laceration after their UFC 244 clash, Masvidal claimed that he would be open to causing similar damage to the veteran Californian in the future again.
“We’re running it back,” Masvidal explained. “I don’t know when it’s gonna happen, if it’s gonna be this year or the next fight after this (with Usman), I don’t know. But guaranteed, we’re running it back at some point. As long as he says yes, I am more than willing to break his face, his ribs, and his spirit again.“
While Masvidal’s most recent victory came in the form of his doctor’s stoppage triumph over Diaz, the latter returned to tbe winner’s enclosure and to active competition for the first time since a 2016 rematch loss to Conor McGregor — taking a unanimous decision win over former WEC and UFC lightweight titleholder, Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 in August of 2019, ultimately setting up his matchup with Masvidal.