I woke up bright and early to start drinking beer at 8am in order to see my current favorite fighter, Nate Diaz go for the gold that is the horribly stupid BMF belt. It didn't exactly end the way that I, or anyone else wanted it to.
Warning: There are some graphic images coming up so if you are disturbed by blood this might not be the best post for you
I, like most of the fans watching around the world and especially in attendance were not at all pleased when the doctor would not allow Nate Diaz to continue into round 4. Chants of "bullshit" erupted and both Diaz and Masvidal tried to have words with the ring doctor.
If you watched the fight, you know that there is a really better-than-average chance that Diaz had lost all 3 of the first rounds on points - i don't think anyone can argue that as Masvidal clearly had control of all the situations and even when Diaz got some strikes on him he absorbed them with a smile on his face.
Masvidal caught Diaz with a leg to the head early on that staggered him and cut him pretty badly above his right eye. Later on, a series of punches would make this cut worse and also open him up below the same eye.
However, if you know anything about Nate Diaz, this is not abnormal for him as he is usually a bloody mess by the end of any fight that he is involved in: I've never seen a Diaz fight where he didn't look like Ric Flair in every cage match by the end of it.
This is not unusual for Diaz at all and he doesn't seem to be at all phased by it either. Even he complains about how that part of his face just breaks open easier than other people. Honestly, he looks like that in every fight. When the doctor spoke to Diaz at the beginning of round 4 it appeared as though he had given the "all clear" for the bout to continue but then stopped to speak to the ref and the fight was called off.
You see, this doesn't even look that bad but you need to keep in mind that they had already slathered Nate up with that magic "blood be gone" goo
The crowd booed like crazy when the doc called it off, both fighters and their corner teams stood up in protest, and even Dana White started shouting at the doctor. However, the athletic commission of any fighting sport dictates that the ring doctor has the official word in whether all fighters are allowed to continue.
This was particularly disappointing because Nate's cardio is one of the things that makes him so dangerous. He has on many occasions beaten opponents simply because you can't knock the guy out and while other people are getting tired Nate could probably go 10 rounds. The dude does triathlon competitions for fun while training for a fight.
I was mad, as was everyone else at the bar that I was in. "Just let them fight!" the people in attendance shouted. Everyone, it seemed disagreed with the doctor. Until a little bit later.
These guys are on a whole different level of toughness than I can even imagine
Nate immediately had medical attention in the back and when Dana White came back to check on him and Dana said it was "horrific" as Nate's eyebrow was flopping over his eye and the cuts were "much worse than they looked on TV."
25 stitches later, Diaz was doing a post-fight interview and he was still complaining about the fight being stopped because dude is an animal. He was saying things like "this fight wouldn't have been stopped in Nevada" - which to be honest is probably true. I have seen some pretty horrific bloodbaths in UFC where people had holes in their faces or their ear partially ripped off their heads that Las Vegas was just like "meh, give it another round!"
Most professional fighters Tweeted something along the lines of "F**K that doctor, he stole the match!" and "never ever fight in New York!" and other such things indicating that they disagreed with the stoppage. I was upset because I really expected Nate to turn it around in rounds 4 and 5 by way of submission and superior cardio. However, now that we have access to these photos I think that we need to assume that the doctor, who has decades of experience in analyzing lacerations, might know a little bit more than we do about preserving the health of a fighter.
Nate would die in the ring before he would ever quit due to some paltry cuts and it appears to be impossible to knock the guy out - he has only had a fight stopped once when he got rocked with a knee but then he was just woozy, he was still conscious and of course vigorously complaining when the fight was called off due to TKO.
As much as it pains me, because I really like Diaz, I believe that the doctor made the right call in this one. We all wanted to see those championship rounds, but not at the expense of Nate losing an eye.