Nate Diaz is expected to make his highly-anticipated Octagon return in August.
Diaz will be facing off against Anthony “Showtime” Pettis in the co-main even of UFC 241 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The bout will take place at 170 pounds, despite Diaz fighting most of his career at lightweight. However, in his last two fights against Conor McGregor, Diaz competed at welterweight.
Speaking on “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show” earlier today (Mon. June 3, 2019), Diaz opened up on his decision to leave the 155-pound division behind. The Stockton native feels it’s time to begin competing at a more comfortable weight class at this point in his career:
“Yeah, I’m just done with the 155 things,” Diaz said. “That’s in the past now. I think it’s time to start fighting at a more comfortable weight class. There’s nothing for me there. I already did everything to everybody, I feel like I’m the king of that division anyways.
“I mean, I am the king of that division. So I’m just gonna leave it where it’s at. There was no love for it, there was no love over there, so it’s not worth putting any more time into that. I’m done with the 55 thing. There’s no opponents over there. That sh*t is weak.”
The 34-year-old hasn’t fought since 2016 when he was edged out by Conor McGregor via majority decision after a five-round war. Now, he’ll stick to welterweight and forgo a return to lightweight, where a potential fight against current division champion Khabib Nurmagomedov might have been in play.
Diaz and Khabib have had their issues in the past, but the former feels he already got the better of the Russian champ when they engaged in a physical confrontation back 2015 at a World Series Of Fighting (WSOF) event:
“Khabib, I already slapped him in his face. I already told you guys that. And it’s like – and I already beat Conor beforehand, quicker than him, easier than him, and then he’s just gonna ignore that and act like whatever. He just seems a little big-headed right now.
“So I’m just like whatever. I don’t need to fight him anyways because I already got a victory over him. He’s just gonna hide out and play champ and act like the good guy and Mr. F*cking humble Khabib. I’m not buying that sh*t. I don’t need to chase nobody.
“If anybody needs to be doing chasing they need to come this way. I’m gonna retire that vision as champ. I slapped both Conor and Khabib so how does that make anybody a winner?”
Diaz was originally expected to make his return in November. He was briefly scheduled to co-headline UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden against Dustin Poirier.
However, Poirier was forced off the card with an injury, and Diaz was removed from the event as a result. Now, Diaz is putting Khabib, McGregor, Poirier, and the rest of the 155-pound division in the rear-view mirror:
“Yeah but I’m not even here to talk about him. I don’t give a f*ck about all that. I’m just saying I’m done with 155 and all those little bitches. Poirier pussed out, hurt his f*cking mid-section.
“I don’t believe that either, I think he mentally f*cking pussed out – and now that’s the guy fighting for the title? Khabib is loving that because he’s gonna have an easy fight. Get the f*ck out of here. So that’s why that division is retired. Because I own all of those mother f*ckers.“