We’ve already seen former WEC and Strikeforce welterweight best, Nick Diaz suggest a possible Octagon return as soon as the early months of next year. And it seems younger Diaz brother, Nate is set to follow suit and make his first Octagon appearance since November of last year.
The Stockton fan-favourite has been out of action since UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden last year, dropping a symbolic BMF championship pairing with veteran contender, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal. Dropping a somewhat dubious third-round doctor’s stoppage after suffering a nasty laceration to his right eye, the defeat brought an end to a two-fight stint for the veteran that year.
News began to circulate recently that the promotion was working on a BMF championship rematch between Masvidal and Diaz for UFC 247 in January – with organizational head-honcho, Dana White detailing how it’s “very possible“ that the promotion work toward a high-stakes welterweight pairing between arch-rivals and former teammates, Colby Covington and the aforenoted, Masvidal instead. White also revealed that the promotion had yet to reach out to Diaz in regards to a return.
Taking to his official Instagram account recently, Diaz posted promotion footage of him training, his above mentioned UFC 244 clash with Masvidal, and his hiatus snapping August pairing with former WEC and UFC lightweight best, Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis – before teasing an Octagon return with a black background, simply displaying, “2021“.
A 2021 return for Diaz would mark somewhat of a quick turnaround for him, given an almost three-year hiatus taken after his UFC 202 rematch defeat to former lightweight and featherweight best, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor in a close majority decision defeat.
Diaz became the first to defeat the Dubliner under the promotion’s banner, back at UFC 196 in 2016 – scoring a massive second-round rear-naked choke upset win in a welterweight headliner.
Winner of the fifth instalment of The Ultimate Fighter the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu standout has nabbed other notable Octagon triumphs over the likes of Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, Michael Johnson, Manvel Gamburyan, Melvin Guillard, Takanori Gomi, Jim Miller, and two-time title challenger, Gray ‘The Bully’ Maynard.