President Donald Trump was on his feet for the main event as Jorge Masvidal defeated a bloodied Nate Diaz via TKO before the fourth round at UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wrapped a crudely named, made-for-PPV baddest man in MMA title belt around Masvidal’s waist as nearly 20,000 fans howled in protest of the quick finish. Masvidal dominated the first three rounds and opened cuts above Diaz’s eyes that turned his face into a crimson mask. The assigned doctor for the New York State Athletic Commission stopped the fight just before the fourth round. Both fighters felt the bout should continue.
“I was hyped, I was ready to go,” Diaz said. “I come in here to fight. It’s not my fault the doctor stopped it. We’ll run it back, though.”
Johnson walked out holding the $50,000 Baddest Mother (Censored!) championship belt to a thunderous ovation as his WWE theme music hit. Trump, who became the first president to attend a UFC card, clapped for Johnson and stayed on his feet for the furious early rounds.
Masvidal charged at Diaz once the initial bell rang before he pulled up and smiled, a nod to his UFC-record 5-second KO of Ben Askren in his last fight. Trump and his adult sons stood as Masvidal took quick control and pounded on Diaz. Diaz had a gash open over his right eye, his face bloodied as he lay on his back trying to kick away Diaz.
The partisan crowd took turns chanting “Diaz!” and “Jorge!” and The Rock sat stone-faced, nodding at the biggest haymakers. Diaz staked his claim as the BMF — if the B stood for bloodiest — when he flexed for the crowd to end the second as blood poured down his face.
The doc wouldn’t let the fight go into a fourth and the 170-pound bout was over, though a BMF rematch could be on the horizon.
“Let me heal up and let’s go again,” Diaz said.
The president appeared pleased with the card, staying for the entire 4-plus hour show.