At UFC 263, Nate Diaz plans to make Leon Edwards ante up despite his critics’ thoughts.
Diaz has not fought since losing the BMF title fight to Jorge Masvidal in 2019. Taking a 19-month layoff after the loss, Diaz is ready to return to the octagon and make a statement in the welterweight division. Vocal as ever, he shared his thoughts with ESPN on the layoff and the matchup with Edwards. (H/T MMA Fighting)
“I was waiting for this whole world to speed back up,” Diaz told ESPN. “I wasn’t really waiting, I was just trying to get on a good card where everything was happening again, where there’s full crowds, and it was time to go and he’s the one who is winning and doing a good job. He’s got an impressive little record and career going on so let’s take that s***.”
Diaz is correct that Edwards is doing a good job. Edwards has quietly amassed an eight-fight win streak since losing to current welterweight king Kamaru Usman back in 2015. Still, Edwards has been unable to make a big enough statement for a title shot. Hoping that beating Diaz, the biggest name he’s fought in years, will secure him a second shot at Usman; the stakes are high in this fight for both men. The UFC must also believe in the importance of this matchup for the division, as it’s the first five-round non-title, non-main event fight in the promotion’s history.
Diaz and Edwards are as much the same as they are different. Both men have a chip on their shoulders for how their careers have been dissected and criticized. But as oddsmakers and other fighters alike give Edwards a nod in this matchup, Diaz has an unmistakable message for anyone who doubts his ability to get it done on June 12th.
“That’s been my whole career is s*** like that,” Diaz said. “If any of the fighters, to all the fighters out there saying anything about me, if it’s not positive as a motherf***er, then shut the f*** up and f*** you. That’s what I think about you. That’s how my whole career has gone and been. If you ain’t got nothing nice to say, don’t say at all because hat’s how I work, anyway. I don’t got nothing nice to say, I keep my predictions and all that s*** to myself because all those guys that are saying about me losing, they’re not s*** themselves.”
Diaz knows that a win could quickly propel him to a shot at the welterweight title against Usman. Putting on an outstanding performance and securing a win against Edwards would do just that.
“I just want to come and put on a good show and get the job done,” Diaz concluded. “I hope everybody leaves with their head on their shoulders but I’m coming to kill for sure.”
Do you think Nate Diaz will beat Leon Edwards at UFC 263?