Nate Diaz earns majority decision victory over Jorge Masvidal – Orange County Register

ANAHEIM — Dubbed “Last Man Standing,” Saturday’s promotion for the second fight between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal did not deliver on that tagline.

But it did produce the goods every other way it could inside the Honda Center on Saturday.

Five years after clashing at Madison Square Garden for the inaugural UFC-branded BMF belt — a title Diaz conjured out of thin air during an inspired moment at the Honda Center in 2019 — the two met again in a 10-round boxing contest inside the same arena where their journey took flight.

“I figured what I was going to do next back then was going to be big,” Diaz said.

And he was right.

Though neither man hit the canvas, the cruiserweight bout gave the sell-out crowd of 18,040 the show they wanted as Diaz avenged his anticlimactic doctor’s stoppage defeat at MSG in the first fight due to cuts, taking a majority decision (95-95, 97-93, 98-92),

Judge Fernando Villareal scored the rematch five rounds apiece, giving Masvidal a wide early edge before Diaz rallied the second half of the fight. Meanwhile, judges Rudy Barragan and Zachary Young favored Diaz (1-1), of Stockton, Calif.

Diaz’s volume and pressure versus Masvidal’s decisive power and ill-intentions proved to be a combustible mix that required referee Joe Corona to break them up just once — and that didn’t happen until the last round.

By that point the tit-for-tat showdown saw both men able to implement what they trained for.

“I think he threw the harder shots and was trying to kill but couldn’t get the job done,” said Diaz, who landed 151 of 740 punches. “I never really got hurt.”

Masvidal (1-1) connected on 182 of 654 punches and took issue with the scorecards, arguing he “landed the more meaningful shots. When the judges see the videos, they’ll see they were misguided.”

“I know it was a great fight, win or lose,” added the Miami-based fighter, who lobbied for a trilogy. “Winning over everything but entertaining the crowd is another big part of it so I’m glad we got to entertain everybody and we’ll probably sell-out another arena where the [expletive] it’s at.”

The Southern California News Group saw the contest 95-95 for the pair of 39-year-old combat sports stars best known for their mixed martial arts resumes.

“Both guys put up a hell of a fight,” said Solomon Engel, whose digital media company Fanmio presented the 11-bout event in conjunction with the fighters’ respective promotional companies.

Preceding Diaz-Masvidal, two-time middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs returned to the ring for the first time in over two years only to drop his second bout in a row, losing by unanimous decision (99-91, 99-91, 100-90) to Pomona’s Shane Mosley Jr (22-4, 12 KO).

With his father watching ringside, Mosley Jr., 33, was clearly the sharper fighter during a tactical but basic bout during which Jacobs, 37, struggled to assert himself.

The crowd quickly lost interest, going so far as to initiate the wave during Round 8 when Jacobs (37-5, 30 KO), a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., was examined by the ringside physician when a clash of heads opened a cup above his right eye.

Even when the bout picked up a bit of steam, the crowd were clear why they were in the building.

“We want Diaz!,” they chanted. “We want Diaz!”

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