After a prolonged stint at welterweight, former UFC lightweight title challenger, Nate Diaz is in line for a return to the 155-pound ranks for his next Octagon outing.
Yet to return to the Octagon since his November 2019 BMF championship challenge loss to current holder, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal, Stockton fan-favourite, Diaz was consistently linked with a rematch alongside the Floridian, however, that matchup has been put on the backburner. With Masvidal widely expected to meet with arch-rival and former American Top Team teammate, Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington sometime this year, Diaz must switch focus elsewhere.
Diaz, a former title challenger during the reign of the decorated, Benson ‘Smooth’ Henderson has featured at welterweight in his last four Octagon outings. Becoming the first to defeat former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor in the UFC, Diaz lost a subsequent rematch before a unanimous decision win over recent PFL signee, Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis, prior to his doctor’s stoppage defeat to Masvidal.
Along with his elder brother, Nick Diaz, Nate has been speculated to make his Octagon return this year, and according to promotional president, Dana White, the promotion are currently working on a lightweight matchup for the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player in his next appearance. And despite recent clamouring from the mixed martial arts community, former interim lightweight champion, Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson won’t welcome Diaz back to the division.
“We’re working on a Nate Diaz fight, right now,” White said during a recent interview with The Mac Life reporter, Oscar Willis. “And it is — it’s not, Tony (Ferguson), but if we get it (the fight) done, I think you’re gonna like it. Lightweight — fifty-five (155-pounds),” White replied when asked if Diaz would return at welterweight or lightweight.
When asked about the possibility of a trilogy matchup of the above mentioned, McGregor and Diaz should both men win and current champion, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov remains retired, White, pumped the brakes on the discussion of a rubber-match, but claimed a win for Diaz would put him in an interesting position at 155-pounds.
“Oh I don’t know, I don’t know,” White said about a possible trilogy matchup. “Let’s see if we can get this fight done. But yeah, it would put him (Diaz) in a really good position if he won the fight, and the guy who he could potentially be fighting — I think it’s a good fight for him too.“
Diaz, The Ultimate Fighter 5 lightweight tournament victor hasn’t made the lightweight limit since December 2015 at UFC Fight Night Orlando where he claimed a unanimous decision victory over veteran, Michael ‘The Menace’ Johnson — before issuing his infamous post-fight call out of McGregor.