The UFC 244 Post-Fight Press Conference and Moving Forward
By: Jesse Donathan
Jorge Masvidal claimed the UFC’s Baddest Motherf*cker title Saturday night, defeating the game Nate Diaz by third round TKO doctor stoppage. Though a clear and convincing victory for Masvidal, there seems to be some question surrounding the efficacy of the ringside physician’s decision to stop the fight and how the next two championship rounds would have ultimately panned out for the victorious American Top Team welterweight representative. Immediately following the ringside physician’s decision to bring a halt to the context, Diaz and Masvidal met in the center of the Octagon and seemed to have words centering around how the contest ultimately played out.
“You guys said it,” Diaz wrote on Twitter social media immediately following the fight with a picture attached to the message of Masvidal and himself going back and forth following his third round TKO loss over the weekend in Madison Square Garden. “Don’t back out motherf*cker, I see the f*ckery coming my way already,” Diaz wrote in expressing his doubt that the publicly stated rematch with Masvidal would actually come to fruition.
Photo Credit: UFC Twitter Account
Immediately following Masvidal’s UFC 244 victory for the promotions inaugural Baddest Motherf*cker title, the attention quickly turned to what’s next for the man they call “Gamebred” at the UFC 244 post-fight press conference. According to a November 3, 2019 MMAJunkie.com Twitter social media post, “Conor McGregor has said that he is going to come back January 18th, the opponent Dana White said,” a reporter queried to Masvidal before being interrupted, “Come back to what?” asked Masvidal. “Too MMA, to the UFC,” the reporter replied. Obviously two steps ahead of the journalist, “What do you mean, like fighting in the cage?” Jorge replied.
“Yeah,” the reporter answered, seemingly unaware that he was being led down the promotional road of soundbite wizardry. “I don’t know man,” said Masvidal. “That dude has been talking for an (inaudible) what, second. If he fights and gets a victory and he wants this,” explained Masvidal, while motioning to himself with food in his hand, “And some of you motherf*ckers are mean man, ‘cause you know what the f*ck I’ll do to that little dude bro, I’ll f*ck that little guy up man, he’s a f*cking midget,” said Masvidal with the kind of confidence and vibrato that comes with knowing you’re the Baddest Motherf*cker in the room.
On a roll, the 18-fight UFC veteran wasn’t nearly through there either. “Dana White,” said Masvidal as he made eye contact with everyone at press row, “The president of this mothaf*ckin’ company, said that I’m too much man for him.” In what can only be described as a hood, street talk, Masvidal went on to deliver promotional gold in dressing McGregor down in front of the mixed martial arts media gathered to celebrate his UFC 244 victory over Nate Diaz.
“I get it, why people want to see him hurt for the stunts that he’s been pulling,” said Masvidal. “But he don’t want this shit, he’s just talking so he can get his name out there. He was cheering for Nate, he wanted to run it back with Nate,” explained Jorge. “You think he’s at home seeing that fight and saying I want to fight that dude? That dude ain’t retarded, you see he punches old people in the face because those are the fights that he could win. He don’t want this shit,” said Masvidal.
With the reporter attempting to move on to another question, “Gamebred” wasn’t having any part of it. “No, no,” said Masvidal shaking his head. “You know he doesn’t want this shit. Dana and them might try to promote it, I don’t even think Dana is going to promote that fight, because you can’t get that guy to sign the paper,” said Masvidal.
As originally reported in an October 31, 2019 BloodyElbow.com report titled, “UFC ‘looking at’ Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone for January,” author Nick Baldwin writes that, “UFC president Dana White confirmed Wednesday that the promotion is considering booking the Irishman against Donald Cerrone at a Jan. 18 pay-per-view card in Las Vegas, likely to be called UFC 246.” According to Baldwin, “White said that the fight is far from official, however.”
The UFC’s original BMF according to MMAFighting.com, Donald Cerrone (36-13, 10 KOs) has 33-fights with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in a career spanning 14 years in the making, approximately nine of which have been spent as an athlete fighting under the sports premiere mixed martial arts banner. By anyone’s count, Cerrone is among the most diligent workers in the organization, regularly bouncing back and forth between the UFC lightweight and welterweight divisions, fighting some of the sports premiere up-and-coming talent and promotional assets in the process where victory was often times anything but certain. A fight against McGregor would almost certainly be among the most critical of the aging Cerrone’s career, and perhaps one of the most lucrative as well.
According to an August 22, 2016 MMAJunkie.com article titled, “Full UFC 202 salaries: McGregor, Diaz get $5 million of reported $6.1 million payout,” Diaz was paid upwards of $2 million for winning the Conor McGregor sweepstakes in their UFC 202 rematch. Having hand selected and cherry picked smaller opponents throughout the duration of his UFC career, McGregor made a crucial error at UFC 196 in selecting Diaz for his UFC welterweight debut, and while looking like a fish out of water once the fight inevitably hit the mat, McGregor was promptly submitted in the second round by the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt.
The rematch at UFC 202 was a different story however, with Diaz ultimately falling to the Irishman by 5-round majority decision, though paid handsomely even in defeat. The real story however, is what McGregor and the UFC really have in mind; a rematch with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. (50-0, 27 KOs), which would be a lucrative payday for everyone involved if the initial estimated figures from the first bout are to be believed. Which brings into the focus the ethos behind McGregor seeming receiving the white glove treatment from the UFC brass and the absolutely critical nature in which the stakes ride on Conor McGregor’s next fight inside the ring or cage.
And considering it’s been three years since McGregor last won a fight inside the Octagon, most recently losing to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October of 2018 following a two-year hiatus from the sport, it’s not unfair to characterize Conor McGregor’s career as being in great jeopardy. And with serious legal charges reportedly hanging over the UFC superstars head, another loss inside the Octagon would all but eliminate the possibility of a “Money” Mayweather rematch. Which is where the UFC’s BMF title and their longtime perennial work horses in Masvidal, Diaz and Donald Cerrone come into the picture in my opinion as potential possibilities to save the day.