The BMF title fight between welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz at UFC 244 last week was stopped prematurely after the cage side doctor called a stop to the fight. Diaz had cuts around his right eye, so Dr. Nitin K. Sethi advised that the fight end in a TKO.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Sethi revealed he has received death threats for his decision to stop the championship fight.
“I’m a very good neurologist and a very good doctor, and calling me f—ing scum online and calling my office staff and yelling at them, threatening me, I fear for my health and safety,” Sethi said. “Somebody’s going to get hurt, and it’s probably going to be me this time.
“People don’t realize what they do when they talk about these things. But that’s the hard reality of this sport.”
The crowd at Madison Square Garden booed the stoppage while both Diaz and Masvidal expressed a desire for a rematch in the future.
Sethi, a New York-based neurologist, was hired by the New York State Athletic Commission to work the fight. He has previously worked as a cage side doctor at MMA fights.
“Going forward off that third round, I could not guarantee his health and safety,” Sethi said of Diaz. “When in doubt, you have to do what you have to do to protect the athlete’s safety. His health and safety comes first. Every action of mine has to be viewed with that foremost in everybody’s mind, but that doesn’t happen.”
UFC President Dana White agreed with Sethi’s decision to call the fight and didn’t think it is necessary for a second fight between Diaz and Masvidal.
Diaz lost each of the first three rounds and may have still been defeated if the fight went to a decision. It was just the second fight for Diaz since 2016.