The Rock responds to foul-mouthed taunts
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson took Nate Diaz's harsh words in his stride after he took a swipe at the Hollywood icon following his loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244.
Diaz lost the headline bout in New York two weekends ago when the doctor called the fight off because of severe cuts to the Californian's face.
Masvidal claimed the one-off Bad Motherf***** (BMF) belt and had the specially-made piece of UFC gold strapped around his waist by Johnson, who was given the honour of stepping into the Octagon to reward the winner.
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Diaz said afterwards he liked Johnson's show Ballers but was filthy the actor was pro-Masvidal, claiming he wasn't worthy of taking centre stage.
"F** The Rock too man, that motherf***** over here playing me," Diaz said.
"See him over there smiling with Masvidal. Should have had Mike Tyson handing out a belt if anybody … I don't give a f*** about no belt anyway. But he can get it too.
"He's on that side, f*** him. I'm on the west coast side. Mike Tyson should have been here anyway, he's the baddest man on the planet right? He should have been the one.
"You guys caught me at a bad time. The Rock's cool, I like Ballers … but he picked the wrong side so he can get his a** whooped too. With all due respect, he can get it too."
Speaking on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show today, The Rock laughed off Diaz's comments and said he had no issue with him speaking his mind.
"I wasn't surprised at Nate's comments because that's the Nate we all know and love," Johnson said. "He is as advertised.
"He gets it. He knows that me and Jorge are boys. We're from Miami, we have a lot of deep connections down there, a lot of the fighters we know, a lot of the coaches and trainers down there, a lot of the gyms we've been to.
"There's a connection so I was totally fine with it, he gets it."
Johnson said even though he and Masvidal have a bond due to both being from Miami, he tried not to let his bias show when he was promoting the fight. But he was thrilled when the 35-year-old won the welterweight clash in New York, making him unbeaten from three starts in 2019.
"His lore and legend from being a street fighter in Miami is very, very real from back in the day," Johnson said of Masvidal. "I reminded him what an incredible opportunity this is and to take advantage of it, continue to work hard as of course he is going to do.
"Also, he's got a sharp wit about him which makes him very likeable. He likes to talk s*** ... but he also has a cool, sharp, smart wit about him.
"He's got his head in the right place."
Masvidal asked Johnson to come to all his future fights, believing him to be a good-luck charm, and the Ballers star has no qualms continuing to support the heavy-hitter, confident he's on the cusp of something special in the fight game.
"I also told him with the turning of the corner, if you will - I'm sure he's going to be fighter of the year in 2019 - he has an opportunity now to not only be one of the greatest of all time but you can see this trajectory happening with Jorge Masvidal where he can become a very big main event player in the game," Johnson said.
"I also reminded him that he also has this really cool, calm humility to him which I think is very unique."