A lot has been made of the doctor stoppage call heading into the championship rounds of the UFC 244 main event between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz.
The pair went head-to-head for the Baddest Mother F*cker Championship. Masvidal seemingly dominated the fight from start to finish, dropping and stunning the younger Diaz brother several times. However, with two nasty cuts around the eye of Diaz heading into the fourth round, the doctor opted to stop the fight given their severity.
Both Masvidal and Diaz expressed disappointment with how the fight ended, but “Gamebred” was rightfully declared the winner nonetheless. Diaz complained after the fight that the stoppage was unjust, feeling robbed of the opportunity to come back strong in the championship rounds – which he claimed had been his gameplan all along as he was dealing with an injury coming into the fight.
Speaking to LowKickMMA, American Top Team (ATT) owner Dan Lambert stated he believes it was Masvidal who was truly robbed by the stoppage, as he had the likely possibility of finishing the fight taken away from him.
“I mean, as a fan, I would’ve liked to have seen it go longer just like anybody would have. I think Jorge is the one who got robbed on that stoppage, because I think it stopped Jorge from getting the opportunity from getting the finish,” Lambert said.
“Jorge wanted to finish the fight. I know Nate is a beast and he wasn’t ever going to quit, but I don’t think that fight was turning anytime soon in a fourth or fifth, sixth or seventh, or 90th round. I think Jorge was going to keep doing what Jorge did until that fight was over.”
With the victory, Masvidal was declared the winner of the one-off Baddest Mother F*cker Championship. It was a move by the UFC that was both criticized and praised by the MMA community, as UFC president Dana White and company went as far as making a physical belt for the occasion. Lambert, being a hardcore professional wrestling fan, was a supporter of the move.
“You know, you might be asking someone who is biased on this. I’m a hardcore wrestling fan,” Lambert said. “I thought it was the coolest idea. I thought it was really really cool. Man, I mean, Dana knows what he’s doing when it comes to promoting fights.
“And they love running big shows with title fights on top, Madison Square Garden with a title on top in November is always a big show, so when those two were the desired matchup, no it didn’t surprise me, because it adds a little more intrigue, it adds a little more promotion to the fight, and it was just a really cool idea.”
There are a plethora of options for Masvidal next. Talk of a fight with older Diaz brother Nick have surfaced, a potential fight with Conor McGregor down the line has been teased, and the Floridian has even expressed an interest in boxing multi-weight world champion Canelo Alvarez. Whatever Masvidal decides to do next, Lambert believes it will be for the biggest paycheck available.
“You know, I think if Jorge were 10 years younger, he’d probably be looking for a title fight next,” Lambert said. “I think at this stage in Jorge’s life and his career I think Jorge wants whatever makes him the most money. So I think Jorge is going to have to wait and see what his options are.
“If Jorge had the opportunity to wait and fight a Conor McGregor, or if some of this talk gets legitimized about a potential boxing match with Canelo, and Jorge has the opportunity to go make that kind of money, I would strongly encourage Jorge to go grab that money. Because, you know, business, you never know what’s going to happen or when it’s going to happen. You got to grab it when you can.”
What do you think will ultimately be Masvidal’s next move?