Nate Diaz IS Not the Only Fighter To Lose Via Doctor’s Stoppage – A Brief History


Just to get a little more mileage out of the cut that ended Nate Diaz’s night at UFC 244 …

Now that we’re a few days removed from the Diaz-Masvidal BMF title fight and the cut that ended UFC 244, it’s fair to ultimately accept that Dr. Nitin K. Sethi’s decision to stop the fight was probably the right call.

The result still stings a bit. Tough pill to swallow. We’ll never know what those last two rounds could have been, but Jorge Masvidal seized his moment and stole the show at UFC 244, thoroughly winning the fight, adding a scalp — in this case an eyebrow — to his resume.

Cutting an opponent is a valid technique. It’s a legit part of the fight game, and the UFC 244 main event between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz is hardly the only major combat sports event, or title fight, to be stopped after an ill-timed, but well-placed cut.

To put it all in context a bit, here are a few more memorable cuts in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

Read on at your own risk. There will be blood …

Back When Motivated B.J. Penn was a Beast

When discussing fight-ending cuts in MMA and the UFC, the conversation both starts and ends with the gash that legend and former UFC two-weight champion B.J. Penn hammered into the forehead of fellow UFC hall of famer Diego Sanchez nearly 10 years ago, back at UFC 107.

Sanchez lasted until midway through the fifth round, but the fight was a classic, bloody clinic by Penn, and likely considered one of B.J.’s top career performances.

Also of importance is that the B.J. Penn vs. Diego Sanchez fight was for the lightweight title. It would be the last time Penn defended his belt, and remains the most gruesome cut to end any UFC fight.

How About A Fight Ending Cut with Some Organic Connection to Diaz-Masvidal?

At UFC 244, Nate Diaz became just the second member of his own family to have a high profile MMA fight stopped due to a cut. His older brother, Nick Diaz, suffered a TKO doctor’s stoppage loss against K.J. Noons in 2007.

Headlining an Elite XC fight card, ahead of Kimbo Slice, Diaz suffered cuts above both his eye, and the bridge of his nose. It was a particularly violent round.

With Noons landing an early knee that did the majority of the damage, a second cut busted up Diaz’s nose on a knockdown counter right.

The doctor called off the fight after the first round, greatly angering Diaz, who has always had a reputation for being tough, durable, and tough (again).

Look on the bright side though. Nick Diaz would go on to win his next 11 fights, the longest stretch of his career, which included both his run as the Strikeforce welterweight champion, and a successful title defense against Noons when they rematched three years later.

Here are a Few More Recent Cuts in MMA

Of far lower profile are a pair of cuts featuring current UFC fighters, but we’re including them because they’re pretty nasty … and pretty fun.

In 2016, flashy American striker, and all-around tough guy, Paul Felder went down to Brasilia to face Francisco Trinaldo, a tough and durable Brazilian.

Both Felder and Trinaldo routinely deliver exciting fights, and this one was no different. However, it was Trinaldo who busted Felder up over the eyebrow (it’s always the damn eyebrow), forcing the doctor to call off the fight.

Trinaldo def. Felder via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) R3, 2:25.

Two years prior, in 2014, Spokane, Washington’s Michael Chiesa, still an up-and-coming wrestler at the time, went to enemy territory to take on crafty veteran Joe Lauzon at Foxwoods casino in Connecticut.

The fight was a big step up for Chiesa (in revisionist history it wasn’t, he already faced Masvidal by that time) and a moment for The Ultimate Fighter winner to strengthen his stock within the promotion. Instead, Lauzon found the good old eyebrow, and eventually the doctor would end Chiesa’s night, waving the fight off midway through the second round.

TKO (Doctor Stoppage) Comes in More Ways Than One

Any time a doctor is near, it’s never a good sign. No one ever wants to see a doctor anywhere near the cage or the ring (well, maybe a fighter badly in need of attention).

While it was a pair of cuts that ended the UFC 244 BMF title fight, doctors can also intervene when the accumulation of the damage reaches excessive levels. It’s a much different call than the laceration that finished Nate Diaz at Madison Square Garden.

Take a look at last December’s UFC 231 main event between featherweight champion Max Holloway and challenger Brian Ortega. With Holloway landing a UFC record 290 strikes over the first four rounds, the doctor stepped in before the final frame to end Ortega’s night.

With Holloway becoming the UFC’s all-time leader in significant strikes that evening, the accumulated damage to finish Ortega was solid. It was a thorough beatdown, and there was never any question about the stoppage. Holloway was fully in control.

Also, just this past June, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who remains the frontrunner to face Conor McGregor when the Irish fighter returns to action, had the unfortunate urge to blow his nose after a two-round beating at the hands of number-one contender Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson at UFC 238.

Taking serious damage throughout the fight, Cerrone blasted a snot rocket onto the canvas after the second round, forcing his eye to swell up.

With Cerrone unable to see, the doctor quickly intervened.

And What About the Cut That Ruined Heavyweight Boxing for a Decade

I finally have a proper outlet to vent how much I detest Lennox Lewis for not rematching Vitali Klitschko after their 12-round bout was waived off after the sixth because of a cut.

Fair play to Lewis, he caused the cut, which was super nasty. But Klitschko was clearly in control of the bout.

Rather than offer the rematch, Lewis ran and retired, and there was never a proper passing of the torch moment for the WBC and IBO belts.

It was pretty weak on Lewis’ part to not give Klitschko the elder a second shot at the title, and looking back, it really hurt heavyweight boxing, which is really only starting to recover now that the division is rife with competitive names like Andy Ruiz, Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua.

And Many, Many More …

There are many, many more memorable fight-ending cuts in mixed martial arts, including when Vitor Belfort finished Randy Couture in the first round at UFC 46 to win the light heavyweight title.

There was also that time that Bellator’s Brandon Girtz had a cut in the shape of the Jordan Jumpman logo. The doctor waived that one off after the second round.