NEW YORK — The highly anticipated BMF title fight is now official.
Both Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz made weight successfully Friday morning at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Masvidal was 169.6 pounds and Diaz was 170.4 for the welterweight (171-pound limit) bout. The two men will compete in the UFC 244 main event fight Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will award the winner between Diaz and Masvidal with the “baddest m—–f—–” title immediately afterward. The belt, which the UFC says is a one-off for this fight between two grizzled, hard-nosed veterans of MMA, will be unveiled at a news conference Friday evening.
Masvidal (34-13) has won two in a row, most recently a five-second knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239 in July. That was the fastest KO in UFC history. The Miami native has won five of seven overall. Masvidal, 34, is ranked No. 5 among MMA welterweights by ESPN.
Diaz (20-11) returned from a three-year layoff to beat Anthony Pettis by unanimous decision at UFC 241 in August. The California native went 1-1 against Conor McGregor in 2016 in two of the biggest pay-per-view events in UFC history. Diaz, 34, has won four of six overall between the lightweight and welterweight divisions.
For the co-main event, Darren Till weighed in successfully at 186 pounds. Till was a big question mark. The former welterweight title contender arrived here only Thursday due to visa and travel issues. The UFC tabbed top middleweight Jared Cannonier as a replacement to fight Till’s opponent Kelvin Gastelum and he was in New York cutting weight in preparation. Gastelum, though, said Wednesday that he would not fight Cannonier on just two days notice and Till was the only opponent he’d consider — even if Till missed weight.
Gastelum was the last fighter to weigh-in, just two minutes before the two-hour window was closed Friday morning. He weighed in at 184 pounds. Gastelum is ranked No. 3 among middleweights by ESPN. Cannonier also weighed in, coming in over at 186.8 pounds, .8 above the 186-pound non-title limit at middleweight. Cannonier will likely not be needed.
Jennifer Maia missed weight at 127.2 pounds, 1.2 pounds over the flyweight non-title limit. She is scheduled to fight Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 244 and will now forfeit a portion of her purse to Chookagian.