Jake Shields is not happy with how the UFC 244 main event ended.
Shields, a longtime teammate of Nate Diaz, was in New York City to support his training partner in his UFC 244 fight with Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal ended up winning this fight due to a cut on Diaz’s brow.
Shields did not agree with the stoppage, especially after seeing the cut backstage.
He believes it was a solid cut, but not one that should have been fight-ending.
“I saw it on the TV then saw Nate later in the night after it was stitched and it wasn’t that bad,” Shields said to BJPENN.com. “It was worse than some other cuts he has had. I also don’t think the cut was worse after the first round. Like it was a bad cut, not taking anything away from it, but it was not fight-ending.”
For Shields and the team that helped Nate Diaz prepare for this fight, the outcome is thoroughly disappointing. He said the game plan was for Diaz to give up the early rounds and come on strong in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds. The Stockton, California native did not have a chance to do this.
“It is extremely disappointing. For some people, it wouldn’t be after losing three rounds but Nate is a different fighter and is better in five-round fights,” he explained. “He was just getting into his groove, he was not mentally broken, he was a little banged up but he still had a good shot at winning. It is one of those fights if he comes back and wins it is an epic fight and people remember. The fans got robbed to see if that was possible.”
Now, the big question surrounding Nate Diaz is what does the future hold for him.
Shields isn’t sure about that.
“It is impossible to say. I saw Nate after the fight and we hung out and talked, and he was surprisingly in a better mood than I expected and wasn’t pissed off,” Shields said. “He was probably pissed off but he didn’t seem mad or in a terrible mood and was having fun and relaxed. He will probably think about it in a week or two and go from there.
“It won’t be as fast as his last turnaround but summer would probably be a good guess,” Shields added, offering a timeframe for his friend’s return.
When the fan-favorite does return, Shields hopes it is for the Conor McGregor trilogy bout instead of the Jorge Masvidal rematch. He believes the trilogy is a much bigger fight and a fight the fans have been clamoring for.
“That is a good question. One good thing, both those rematches are fights fans want to see. It really makes it interesting,” Shields said. “I would rather see the Conor trilogy happen before the Masvidal rematch because they are 1-1 and the second one was controversial and could have gone either way. If Conor wins his next fight, that fight is very interesting. Either of those makes sense.”
If the McGregor trilogy does happen, Jake Shields believes there is no question Nate Diaz wins again, probably by stoppage.
“I think Nate, it would be a tough fight of course as Conor is a good fighter. But, I think Nate would go out there and finish him,” Shields concluded. “He has more tools, progressed more, Conor has been partying too much. Even though Nate hasn’t been active but he has been training the entire time.”
What do you think of Jake Shield’s comments on Nate Diaz?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/5/2019.