Nate Diaz exacts revenge with majority decision win over Jorge Masvidal in back-and-forth battle

Nate Diaz waited nearly five years and crossed over to a new sport to finally get his revenge on Jorge Masvidal.

In a truly entertaining 10-round boxing match, Diaz got the nod over Masvidal by majority decision as the UFC veterans traded shots in a back-and-forth battle in front of a sold-out crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The difference for the two judges who scored the fight for Diaz seemed to be his relentless volume and pressure, which constantly kept Masvidal on his back foot.

Masvidal definitely landed the bigger power punches, but that didn’t sway the scorecards that ultimately cost him the fight. In the end, the judges scored the contest 97-93 and 98-92 for Diaz, with the third official submitting a 95-95 draw.

That was still enough for Diaz to get the win in his second professional boxing match.

“It feels good to get the job done,” Diaz said afterward. “Mission accomplished. I could feel the love out here every time. Shout out to California. It’s all love. It’s always been respect for anyone I’m fighting. He showed up and came to fight and so did I, so it’s all good.”

It was a classic Diaz performance early as he came out throwing punches in bunch, going to the head and body and backing Masvidal against the ropes. That death by 1,000 cuts style that worked so well for Diaz in MMA seemed to translate for him in boxing as well, as he showed no fear stepping into the pocket for the exchanges with Masvidal.

The slow start from Masvidal may have been his way to figure out his range and timing with Diaz’s pressure-filled offensive output. Masvidal finally got going more in the second round with a stiff left and a right hook that caught Diaz looking as the two traded punches.

Masvidal clearly had the better power as he continued to crack Diaz with the stiffer shots in the early going, but Diaz wasn’t backing down. In return, Diaz focused on a slick lead jab with his right hand followed by a left behind it as he kept up his volume.

The pitter-patter punches from Diaz never slowed, but Masvidal really started to sit down on his punches as the fight wore on, with massive left and right hooks to the head and body.

Still, as the fight moved into the fifth round, Diaz poured on the punches in heavy volume, and Masvidal clearly had to pace himself. Masvidal wasn’t throwing as much as Diaz but when he finally let his hands go, he was looking to do damage with every shot he unloaded.

The remarkable pace from Diaz would’ve worn down a marathon runner, but he didn’t slow down one bit as he continued pushing Masvidal backward towards the corner or the ropes. The economical approach from Masvidal saw him play defense and then pick and choose when he would unload a big counter punch.

The back-and-forth battle played out that way in almost every single round, with Diaz peppering away with combinations that saw him throwing four and five punches in succession, while Masvidal covered up and played defense, and then fired back with huge shots that whipped Diaz’s jaw around as sweat went flying.

As time ticked away in the final round, Diaz clipped Masvidal with a well-timed uppercut and then went right back to that same stabbing right hand that served as his best punch all night. Masvidal uncorked another massive left hook as they kept blasting away at each other until the bell sounded.

So many rounds really came down to whether the judges favored Diaz’s volume versus Masvidal’s power. In the end, Diaz got the nod, much to Masvidal’s chagrin.

“I thought I won,” Masvidal said. “I thought I hit the harder shots. We can do it again, we’re 1-1. We’ll find a place and do it again. I definitely thought I landed more meaningful shots. The harder shots, 100 percent I landed them. Nate wants to run it again, we can.”

Considering the way the crowd reacted and the fanfare surrounded both fighters, it wouldn’t be tough to put them back in the ring together again, especially after an entertaining show on Saturday night.

While that’s certainly possible, Diaz already has his sights set on avenging another loss from his past and then perhaps a return to his old stomping grounds in the UFC.

“I’m going to beat Jake Paul’s f*cking ass and I’m down to fight the highest-ranked boxer I can find,” Diaz said. “My main objective is to be the best fighter in the world, so I want to go back and get a UFC title. Leon Edwards, Jake Paul, and anybody the f*ck else, you’re dead.”

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