Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal booked for UFC 244 main event

Originally published at

The UFC has a main event for Madison Square Garden in November, and it will be a rare pay-per-view without a championship fight.

ESPN was the first to report that welterweights Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal will receive top billing at UFC 244 on Saturday, November 2nd in the promotion’s return to New York City.

The highly anticipated fight will be one of the rare times the UFC has run a pay-per-view without a championship fight, opting to go with the bigger fight than a requisite title bout.

Talks involving Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington broke down earlier in the week, as did other plans, according to ESPN’s reporting. After moving on from Covington, they were unable to set up a fight between Usman and Masvidal. Another scenario involved stripping Usman of the title and offering Masvidal and Leon Edwards the championship fight.

There is no question the biggest fight of the available options is the one they are proceeding forward with. Diaz issued a challenge to Masvidal last month after his win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 in Anaheim, California. Masvidal fought in July with a frontrunner for knockout of the year when he stopped Ben Askren in five seconds with a flying knee.

UFC president Dana White spoke to Brett Okamoto of ESPN and stated there would be no title fights underneath the main event.

UFC President @danawhite tells @bokamotoESPN how the battle for the BMF belt between @NateDiaz209 and @GamebredFighter came together for #UFC244

— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 7, 2019

I believe this is the first time a non-title fight has been scheduled as the main event of a PPV (baring last minute pullouts) since the ownership change. I hope this is a sign that the UFC is moving past this phase, because I don’t think there is any argument against Diaz/Masvidal being a worthy headliner for MSG.