Diaz-Masvidal bout moved to July 6 in Anaheim

Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal’s upcoming encounter inside a boxing ring has a new date and venue.

Diaz vs. Masvidal, originally slated for June 1 at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California, will now relocate to the Honda Center in Anaheim and take place during Independence Day weekend on July 6. The 10-round light heavyweight showdown will be presented on Fanmio PPV.

The original date was met with heavy competition as UFC 302 is scheduled for the same night in Newark, New Jersey, where Islam Makhachev will defend the lightweight championship against Dustin Poirier. The same day, Dmitry Bivol defends his WBA light heavyweight championship against late replacement Malik Zinad while Deontay Wilder returns to action against Zhilei Zhang on the same card.

“I sell pay-per-views for a living,” said Masvidal to ESPN. Masvidal is the promoter of Gamebred boxing as well as the bare-knuckle MMA promotion Gamebred Fighting Championship and MMA promotion iKON FC. “You don’t want to go up against other fight events and you definitely don’t want to go up against the UFC. I have been trying to switch the date from the beginning.”

Masvidal said that Diaz initially wasn’t cooperative and adamant that their boxing match take place on June 1. But the former UFC title contender said that making the move to a new date would prevent splitting the attention of fans who wanted to watch. He also stated that the event, billed as “Last Man Standing,” was moved to Anaheim to service a starved MMA fanbase that routinely turns out for UFC events in the city.

“It just doesn’t make sense but he’s not a boxer and he doesn’t have a boxing fan base,” Masvidal continued. “The fanbase he has is from MMA, from the UFC. Why go up against our own fanbase? As a promoter, I never wanted to go against them. I know fans may buy both events but why do it if there are other dates available? Finally, the promotion heeded my advice and we were able to change dates.”

The inaugural press tour for the fight was a contentious one as two fighters traded barbs with Masvidal accusing Diaz of being a “diva” during the promotion. “Gamebred” does have concerns that Diaz may not make it to the fight.

“I just felt like he didn’t want to be a part of the press tour,” Masvidal said. “I just hope he shows up to the fight because a big part of me doesn’t think he will. We have some backups out there. We have been making some calls and hunting them down because the feeling is out there that he won’t show up. I hope he proves me wrong, but we have a backup just in case.”

Diaz and Masvidal first squared off inside of the UFC’s Octagon in 2019 when the two fan favorites competed for the inaugural BMF championship at UFC 244. The highly anticipated encounter ended on a sour note when a doctor’s stoppage due to a cut over Diaz’s eye awarded Masvidal the victory. Now the two will settle their differences in a different medium, but both fighters are looking for a definitive result on July 6

“After the fireworks on the Fourth of July you will get to see a funeral on July 6,” said Masvidal.

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