Nate Diaz defeats Jorge Masvidal by majority decision in rematch of UFC veterans

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JULY 05:  (L-R) Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal during weigh-in ahead of Last Man Standing Nate Diaz v Jorge Masvidal at the JW Marriott Anaheim on July 05, 2024 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal made for an entertaining boxing match. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Nate Diaz-Jorge Masvidal boxing match Saturday ended up delivering a lot more than the Nate Diaz-Jorge Masvidal UFC match. Including a different result.

Diaz defeated Masvidal by majority decision (95-95, 97-93, 98-92), avenging his TKO loss in the Octagon at UFC 244.

Given the dubious histories of MMA fighters-turned-boxers, we can at least say the fight was entertaining. Diaz opened the first round with a flurry of blows, with some of them connecting, while Masvidal was more patient and regularly landed punishing combinations and counter shots.

Diaz showed off both his chin, eating power punch after power punch from Masvidal, and his showmanship. He smiled, he danced a couple times, he even walked away from Masvidal mid-round at one point, drawing huge cheers from the sold-out Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Perhaps most impressive was Diaz's cardio, with 740 total punches thrown across 10 rounds. Masvidal, however, outlanded him in both total punches (182) and power punches (152). Fans had to wait until past 10 p.m. local time at the Honda Center in Anaheim for the two to walk out, but they definitely seemed to get their money's worth.

The judges ended up rewarding Diaz's approach.

Diaz didn't seem interested in a trilogy after the match, proposing a different plan instead: "I'm going to beat Jake Paul's f***ing ass." He later mentioned UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards and any highly ranked boxer as other potential opponents.

Meanwhile Masvidal disputed the decision and called for a rematch, needing to be restrained in the ring after the interview.

"I thought I won. I had the harder shots," Masvidal said.

Diaz's win was a victory for his former rival Conor McGregor as well. The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion said he bet half a million dollars on the Stockton native to take care of business.

The bout was a rematch from both fighters' days in the UFC, when the two faced off for the inaugural "BMF" belt. Diaz called out Masvidal specifically after defeating Anthony Pettis at UFC 241, leading to a UFC 244 clash that saw Masvidal defeat Diaz via TKO. It was an anticlimactic ending, with a doctor stopping the fight due to a cut over Diaz's eye.

It was the final win of Masvidal's MMA career.

Both fighters entered this match after a lengthy UFC career that didn't exactly end with either at the top of their game. Masvidal, famous as the owner of the fastest knockout in UFC history, lost his final four fights with the promotion, while Diaz was a sporadic presence at best after his rematch with Conor McGregor.

They both still possessed considerable cachet in MMA circles though, especially in their respective home states of California and Florida. A boxing match was a natural step for each to take, though Diaz got started earlier with his lucrative loss to Jake Paul.

Despite their similar career arcs, there was no love lost in the run-up to Saturday's bout. A brawl broke out at a news conference last month, while Diaz continued to show his trademark contempt for seemingly all proceedings that didn't directly involve him stepping into the ring.