Ultimate Fighting Championship color commentator Joe Rogan has been open in his admiration of both Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal, so when the UFC announced the pair would be headlining UFC 244 later this year in New York he was unsurprisingly ecstatic.
The UFC’s 170-pound division is currently bottle necked at the top with a host of legitimate contenders lining up to challenge for Kamaru Usman’s title. With negotiations between Usman and former 170-pound interim champion Covington supposedly hitting a snag, the promotion went with fan favorites Diaz and Masvidal, both of whom are coming off impressive victories.
Diaz returned from a three-year hiatus to dominate Anthony Pettis last month at UFC 241, winning via unanimous decision, while Masvidal broke the UFC’s record for the fastest finish in the promotions history with his five-second flying knee knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239 back in July.
Rogan commented on the fight announcement during a recent episode of his “Fight Companion” series in terms of the welterweight title picture, and said Diaz continues to show his pulling power (via BJPenn.com).
“It’s worth money. I said that Nate Diaz is one of the biggest superstars in the game, up there with everybody. I guess there was some negotiations or something because Dana White refuted it, saying Nate isn’t part of the long term plans, that he only fights once every three years. I’m like, don’t say that,” Rogan said. “I’m just excited. But I want Usman vs. Colby. That’s the fight to make.”
Rogan also praised Masvidal and said people shouldn’t sleep on him considering he’s knocked out his past two opponents in Askren and previously Darren Till.
“That guy’s so good. He’s so good and he’s so clever. That’s one of the best things to say about Masvidal,” Rogan said. “People don’t necessarily associate him with KO power for some reason, but the guy knocked out Yves Edwards with a head kick, he knocked out Darren Till, Donald Cerrone, he knocked out Ben Askren and put him into another dimension with a flying knee. He doesn’t necessarily have the most power, but he’s so good.”