UFC news, rumors: Jorge Masvidal welcomes Nate Diaz's challenge, Ben Askren announces a 'done deal'

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Fight fans could be in for an extra present come the holiday season. After Nate Diaz successfully returned to the Octagon from a three-year absence with a dominant win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 241, the Stockton, California-native called out Jorge Masvidal. The fight would be contested for the Diaz-invented "baddest motherf---er title," he said.

"The reason I was off is 'cause everybody sucked and there was nobody to fight," Diaz said. "With this belt, I want to defend it against Jorge Masvidal; he had a good last fight. All respect to the man but there ain't no gangsters in his game anymore.

"I know my man's a gangster ... but he ain't no west coast gangster."

Now, Masvidal has accepted the challenge and one of the most intriguing fights possible could be a reality before 2019 ends.

"I'm from Miami-Dade county," Masvidal said in a video released on his YouTube channel. "I'm a dirty south goon -- damn right, I ain't no west coast gangster. And I'm ready. I'm ready to put it on the line."

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Masvidal is coming off his own notable victory, knocking out Ben Askren in a UFC-record five seconds at UFC 239 in July. The win was Masvidal's second consecutive knockout victory and launched him to the No. 2 spot in the UFC's welterweight rankings. Following his win over Pettis, Diaz is ranked No. 7. But Diaz has moved his thinking past rankings and is focused on "cool" fights while avoiding "lame opponents."

"Quit acting like this is a professional sport," Diaz said at the UFC 241 post-fight press conference. "Whatever they want to give me? No, I'm going to take what's mine. That's what I'm talking about, the baddest motherf---er title. I need that belt made as soon as possible."

More UFC news, rumors

  • Diaz vs. Masvidal isn't apparently the only treat awaiting for fight fans. Ben Askren announced a fight against Demian Maia is a "done deal" for Oct. 26 in Singapore. A battle between elite wrestler Askren and elite jiu-jitsu player Maia is a style battle that's hard to resist.
  • Conor McGregor offered congratulations to former two-time foe Diaz after UFC 241, saying Diaz's win motivated him toward his own comeback. "Congrats on the win this weekend Nate, it was motivating to see it for my own comeback," McGregor wrote on Instagram. "I don't blame you not mentioning me for the trilogy bout post fight, you know what I'm like when I get going. Vicious. I loved the round 3 style from round 1 that you implemented. It's what I was hoping you would implement for this bout and was glad to see you do it. I'll be prepared for it when we go again. If we go again. If not, respect always. A war for the ages. No b---h talk. Just real s--t."
  • UFC president Dana White said flyweight and bantamweight champ Henry Cejudo needs to defend his 125-pound title in his next bout or vacate the championship. Given the flyweight division existing in constant threat of being shut down, a lot more than Cejudo's status as "champ-champ" could hang in the balance. "He needs to defend that title," White said after Tuesday's edition of the "Contender Series." "First of all, we're playing some things out to see who's going to be the next challenger at [1]35. Benavidez is ready to go. He deserves it, and he's got a win over Cejudo."
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