According to movie star The Rock, UFC 244 was the biggest event for the promotion since UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor last year.
“From what I’m told, since UFC’s transition it was the biggest fight they’ve ever had, second I’m sorry, to Conor and Khabib, which is quite an amazing accomplishment,” The Rock told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “I’m very proud for both those guys.”
The Rock had not only been in attendance at the event in New York, but also handed out the belt to the winner, Jorge Masvidal, who it’s well known already has a good relationship with.
However, the former WWE superstar said that he didn’t let their friendship get in the way of helping to promote both Masvidal and his opponent Nate Diaz ahead of the event.
“I went into the fight, I wanted to be as neutral as possible when I was promoting it because as we’re leading up to it and selling it on pay-per-view, I didn’t want to come out and say, ‘Jorge is my boy and he’s gonna win. No, I just wanted to be neutral and I thought that was the best, smartest, strategic play to get as many new eyes on this fight as possible and again help impact in my own little way the bottom line.”
Nevertheless, after the event Diaz actually called The Rock out at the post-fight presser for supporting Masvidal, although he later joked that he was just being grumpy after his loss and didn’t really have a problem with the movie icon.
“He is as advertised. Nate, he gets it,” The Rock said in response to the call-out. “He knows that me and Jorge were 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 that we know, a lot of the gyms that we’ve been to down there.
“So there’s a connection, so no I was totally fine with it. He gets it.”