The UFC is headed to Madison Square Garden next weekend, and the card’s scheduled main event had all the makings of a war between two of the most entertaining fighters in the game. UFC 244 will take place on Nov. 2, with Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal slated to square off for the belt the promotion made specifically for this bout, the “Baddest Motherf*cker” title.
Unfortunately for those hoping to watch a slugfest, that won’t end up happening. Diaz posted a letter to his Twitter account on Thursday afternoon announcing his decision to pull out of the fight. As he tells it, a drug test showed “elevated levels that they say may be from tainted supplements,” and until the situation is resolved, he refuses to step into the octagon.
Your all on steroids not me pic.twitter.com/ykrZmRIoPS
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) October 24, 2019
Diaz made his return to the UFC after nearly three years off back in August, when he defeated Anthony Pettis by unanimous decision to move to 20-11 in his career. At the conclusion of his fight, he expressed interest in squaring off against Masvidal, who was seated at ringside and was looking for his next opponent following his stunning first-round knockout of Ben Askren in July to move to 34-13 in his career.
Despite Diaz pulling out and his future in the UFC now being up in the air, Chisanga Malata reports that the promotion had a backup plan, and Leon Edwards, who is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak, will fill in.
Been told the UFC have had a replacement on standby in case of injury or unforeseen circumstances scuppering Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz.
That man is none other than Leon Edwards.
He’s been paid to be in training camp and is likely the front runner to replace Nate. #UFC244
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) October 24, 2019
It is unclear if Masvidal-Edwards will be for the BMF title, but hopefully things get resolved with Diaz soon. He’s one of the most popular fighters in the game, and whether it would come against Masvidal or someone else, it’s always fun watching him throw hands in the octagon.