Josh Thomson breaks down Nate Diaz's chances against Jorge Masvidal ahead of their Boxing Match this weekend

With the way their first fight went, it’s not much of a surprise that Jorge Masvidal is being favored to beat Nate Diaz once again. This time, however, the two UFC rivals will run it back in the boxing ring instead of the Octagon – which some are suggesting could work to Diaz’s advantage.

Five years ago in 2019, Masvidal became the first-ever BMF Champion at UFC 244 with a doctor stoppage TKO over Diaz, as the UFC superstar sported a bloody cut over and around his right eye. The fight was stopped at the end of round 3 and up until then, it was one-way traffic for Masvidal, keeping Diaz at bay with his punches and kicks along with his grappling.

Josh Thomson Says Nate Diaz Knows How To ‘Weaponize His Cardio’

Known for his cardio (and unbelievable chin), many had thought Diaz would start to come back in the championship rounds, but we never saw it take place. Josh Thomson, the only other fighter to TKO Diaz (back in 2013), believes Diaz needs to apply the pressure early against Masvidal if he wants a chance of winning the 10-round boxing rematch.

“If Nate doesn’t put pressure right away to start to slow Masvidal down— Masvidal is gonna basically be able to pick and choose what he does in the fight,” Thomson said on Weighing In w/ ‘Big’ John McCarthy. “He’s gonna snap his jab, he’s gonna land the big shots, he’s gonna get in, get out, he’s gonna dictate the pace of the fight, which means that he’s gonna dictate how tired he gets.

“That’s the one thing that I think Nate has – he has learned how to weaponize his cardio and if he can get started early by the middle of the fight, whether it’s round four, round five, round six, somewhere in there, I think he’s got a good chance of making Masvidal tired if he puts the the right type of pressure and just touches him and uses that reach advantage to his advantage by just keeping the jab out there.”

Thomson Revisits His Fight With Nate Diaz From A Decade Ago

Watch - Nate Diaz vs Jorge Masvidal face off in front of rowdy Miami crowd

Many fighters have been able to figure out and beat Diaz in the UFC, but rarely does it come easy, with stars such as Conor McGregor and Leon Edwards having their hands full while fighting the Stockton slugger. Even Thomson, who was the first and really only fighter to stop Diaz with strikes, speaks to Diaz’s boxing ability and how it poised some problems for him.

“I do wanna say this one thing about Nate Diaz and just given from my experience of fighting him, he does not hit hard, he is slower… but, if he catches you at the end of the punch, it hurts,” Thomson continued. “I’ve had several occasions during our fight, he caught me at the end of the punch and I saw it coming and it just hit me right at the right spot, right at the right time. And that snap at the very end and he turns his hands over. He doesn’t palm out there, he doesn’t like slap you with them. Now he does do that as well, but when he does put the snap on it, he rolls it over and rotates the thumb down.

“He caught me on the end of a couple of those and I was like, ‘Oh, wow…’ He snapped my head back and made me feel like a PEZ dispenser. He’s got some power at the end of the punches. It’s when he smothers it that you don’t feel it as much. That goes for most fighters.”

“He’s Got A Good Chance Of Winning This Fight…”

Should Diaz have a good enough game plan for their rematch, Thomson says this Saturday could possibly end up being a bad night in the office for Masvidal.

“I really honestly believe with his reach advantage, if he’s able to keep Masvidal at the end of his punches and keep him just slightly out of range, I think he’s got a good chance of winning this fight,” Thomson added. “But, he’s gotta get started early and Masvidal, he’s gotta take the center of the ring. He’s gotta make sure that he’s not letting Nate push him around. He’s gotta stand his ground. But also the biggest thing is cutting angles. He’s gotta make sure that he’s not standing directly in front of him and inside that reaching range on the edge of his punches.”

Nate Diaz is 0-1 as a boxer, losing his pro debut by decision to Jake Paul last August. Jorge Masvidal, on the other hand, has not boxed professionally with his last fight coming at UFC 287, where he lost to former title challenger Gilbert Burns – also by unanimous decision. 

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