A bombshell dropped on the MMA world today when UFC announced Nate Diaz would take on Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
Diaz returned from a three-year hiatus to earn a defeat former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision just three weeks ago. Before that, his status in the MMA world exploded when he handed Conor McGregor his first defeat inside the Octagon before losing a competitive rematch.
Masvidal instantly re-established himself as a top welterweight contender when he knocked out former title challenger Darren Till this past March, then scored the fasted knockout in UFC history with a devastating flying knee KO of Ben Askren in just five seconds at UFC 239 that had the world talking.
MMAOddsmaker Nick Kalikas discussed the early line movement when the fight was first rumored as well as the initial reaction from Las Vegas:
“As soon as rumors began circulating about this fight, sportsbooks rushed to get opening lines out for the fight for marketing purposes, considering the popularity of both fighters. The knowledgeable bettors and UFC followers saw the instant value on Masvidal and rushed to the betting window and the line started to climb, eventually settling offshore at -165. When the fight was confirmed today by the UFC, the official line was requested, and I went to work. Our friends over at Super Book USA in Las Vegas also opened their line shortly after the fight was confirmed.”
Kalikas gave his thoughts on the matchup as well:
“Both fighters are coming off a great deal of momentum and both are popular, with loyal fanbases. It won’t be hard to attract bets on either fighter. That being said, the sharper betters realize Masvidal has a few advantages in this fight. Compared to fighters Diaz recently faced, Masvidal has a better gas tank and is more durable. Masvidal also possesses dangerous boxing skills that can compete with Diaz’s high volume output. Masvidal also should have no problem avoiding the ground game against Diaz due to his strong takedown defense. A big issue with Diaz is his hittability and the fact that he can get busted open easily. In a five-round main event, I expect Diaz will absorb a heavy amount of punishment. Diaz will have his moments and this will be a grueling type of fight, but I expect Masvidal to dish out more damage. This fight has fireworks written all over it and I expect it to either end in a highlight reel finish or be a five-round instant classic.”
Kalikas’ opening line is currently available at Several Bookmakers.
Opening Betting Odds
November 2, 2019
Location: New York, New York
Nate Diaz +160
Jorge Masvidal -200
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