Tonight is the night that Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz headline Madison Square Garden in a five-round main event, for the inaugural Baddest Motherf*cker (BMF) Belt. What a time to be an MMA fan!
American Top Team Coach and UFC veteran Din Thomas joined us to break down the UFC 244 main card, and as always, his technical breakdown’s were second to none. Thie time out, the focus is on the Masvidal vs. Diaz headliner. Masvidal trains out of the same camp where Din Thomas is a highly sought after and respected coach. Although he is not in Masvidal’s corner, he knows him very well.
The first question we posed to Coach Din was: ‘what is Gamebred’s most effective path to victory?’
“Diaz doesn’t change much,” said Thomas. “He fights the same type of fight all the time.”
While that much is true, Diaz probably doesn’t mess with the recipe, because his predictable approach works, plain and simple. His opponents more or less know what to expect, but the burden is on them to do something about it. That is easier said than done without question.
Coach Din Thomas believes that Masvidal most definitely has the tools, the motivation and the ability to get the job done, if he can impose his will and deny Diaz the opportunity to impose his instead. As history has shown, Diaz is capable of getting into a rhythm that can escalate rapidly into a striking clinic and utter beatdown if they’re not careful.
“Jorge Masvidal is very well-rounded,” he said. “If you ever just watch him box, he’s extremely good, and he’s a better pure boxer than Nate Diaz. So, he can box, he can kick and he’s been working with a lot of collegiate wrestlers.”
Diaz is often lauded as an excellent boxer, particularly by Joe Rogan, during his live commentary. But Diaz is not an excellent boxer, he’s an effective boxer, and there is a difference. His technique is sloppy, he keeps his hands too low at all times and he’s very unorthodox, but it works for him, very well in fact. So, fundamentally, his boxing is not sound at all. More importantly, Masvidal is a better boxer, he is actually one of the best in all of MMA.
Coach Din continued, saying “The way Masvidal matches up against Diaz is very similar to Nate’s fights with Josh Thomson and Rory MacDonald. He didn’t do well against those guys because they were able to withstand the pressure.” Din believes that Masvidal’s footwork and defense are critical to his offensive success and he knows Diaz will always be tricky, as his fight IQ is stellar (apart from his long-time unwillingness to check leg kicks).
“If Masvidal moves his feet well, he’ll be alright. If not, he’ll end up like Pettis. Pettis broke. Masvidal can’t get bullied, he cannot get pushed around.”
Watch our full interview with American Top Team’s Din Thomas above!