Nate Diaz keeps popping up as the underdog against Jorge Masvidal for UFC 244. At the time this post is being written, Diaz sits at a +138 on Fanduel’s Sportsbook with Masvidal at -170. However, when looking at their records and how they match up, it can make longtime fans of MMA wonder where the oddsmakers get these numbers from to determine an underdog? Here is an argument for why these numbers might off.
First, looking at how they match up Diaz has a two-inch height and reach advantage. While two-inches may not seem like that much, professional fighters know how to make it work for them. Granted, Diaz is a submission guy based on over half his wins earned that way, but he can certainly box as we saw in his return to the cage with Anthony Pettis when this whole “BMF” thing got started.
Diaz is an ectomorph, and “ecto’s” as Muscleandstrength.com describes them are; “An ectomorph is a typical skinny guy. Ecto’s have a light build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually, ectomorph’s have long thin limbs with stringy muscles. Shoulders tend to be thin with little width.” That matches the build of a few fighters like Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, fighters that are successful in MMA.
This not to say Masvidal is outmatched; they actually both have come into the fight game on a similar path. By now, fans have seen the backyard fighting video on Masvidal, and Diaz was fighting in gyms for little or no money. The numbers could come from Masvidal’s experience as his 34-13 record shows more fights than Diaz’s 20-11. However, Diaz has fought a lot more quality opponents than Masvidal overall.
The truth is they are pretty evenly matched. Masvidal may be the more well rounded MMA fighter with an underrated grappling game but cardio can matter a lot in a fight and Diaz has shown he gets better as the fight goes on. It has been a long time since either man has been finished but in a five-round fight, this one will likely go to the judges and they are more even than oddsmakers make this fight out to be.
UFC 244 takes place this Saturday, November 2 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.