The night of Nov. 2 is shaping up as one of the biggest for combat sports in 2019.
Not only will Nate Diaz battle Jorge Masvidal to determine ‘the baddest motherf—ker in the game’ at UFC 244 in New York but Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will move up to face Sergey Kovalev in a light heavyweight boxing match from Las Vegas.
While exact broadcast details have not been revealed yet, it’s likely that Diaz vs. Masvidal will take place around the same time as Canelo will be stepping into the ring with Kovalev.
For his part, UFC president Dana White believes that would be a grave error for the boxing match that will be broadcast on DAZN as part of Canelo’s overall deal with the streaming service headed up by former ESPN executive John Skipper.
“The night we started talking about this date, we were going to take this date. Then a week later, I heard they were going to do that fight,” White said during the UFC 244 pre-fight press conference. “I think they’re crazy to go the same night as us on DAZN.
“It is what it is but if they time it right and they do this thing the right way, it could be very much like the other night when [Justin] Gaethje fought “Cowboy” [Donald Cerrone] and then the [Tyson] Fury fight was on after. So if they time it right, it could work out. But if they want to go head-to-head, they’re f—king nuts.”
What White failed to mention is that the UFC Fight Night card this past Saturday night featuring Gaethje vs. Cerrone in the main event and the boxing match with Tyson Fury taking on Otto Wallin were both being broadcast on ESPN+.
Obviously in that case, ESPN wouldn’t compete against themselves for viewers so it only made sense to have the boxing match follow the UFC card from Vancouver.
Meanwhile, UFC 244 is almost guaranteed to butt heads with the Canelo vs. Kovalev fight given the typical start times for major mixed martial arts and boxing events on Saturday night.
When it comes to Diaz’s opinion on the matter, he doesn’t seem to think fight fans really have that difficult of a choice to make come Nov. 2.
“We’re fighting for the baddest motherf—ker in the game belt,” Diaz proclaimed. “That’s why [you should watch].”