Shortly after the UFC 244 headliner was made official, Masvidal requested via Twitter that Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson award him the title. “The Rock” replied that he will do everything in his power to be in attendance.
“Doing all I can to make this fight. If I can and you win, I’ll put the belt around your waist at MSG — consider it done,” he wrote in reply to Masvidal. “Already shaping up to be one of the biggest and most electrifying nights in UFC history. Can’t wait.”
Doing all I can to make this fight. If I can and you win, I’ll put the belt around your waist at MSG - consider it done. Already shaping up to be one of the biggest and most electrifying fights in @ufc history. Can’t wait. @GamebredFighter @NateDiaz209 #respect #BMF #UFC244 https://t.co/nVTIeBtkgv— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 9, 2019
The ties between Masvidal and The Rock are primarily geographic in nature. Masvidal hails from Miami, while The Rock played football collegiately at the University of Miami. A former WWE champion who is one of the biggest movie stars in the world today, Johnson often attends major UFC events.
The UFC is creating a special “BMF” belt for Masvidal vs. Diaz, but the hardware will be retired after their fight, according to promotion president Dana White.
“It’s a one-and-done,” White said at the UFC 242 post-fight press conference on Saturday. “Whoever wins, wins the belt and claims the title. ‘BMF.’”
Diaz returned from a three-year hiatus at UFC 241, where he earned an entertaining unanimous verdict over Anthony Pettis for his third win in his last four outings. ESPN reports that Diaz passed all of his drug screenings in relation to the event.
A veteran of 47 professional fights, Masvidal’s stock is currently at an all-time high after scoring back-to-back knockout victories over Darren Till and Ben Askren in his last two Octagon appearances. His flying knee finish of Askren took just five seconds, a new UFC record.
UFC 244 takes place at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 2.