A popular and polarizing force in the UFC 155-pound landscape for many years, Nate Diaz finally earned a signature win when he capitalized on a huge short notice opportunity by submitting the favored Conor McGregor (watch the full highlights here) in the main event of last night’s (Sat., March 5, 2016) UFC 196.
The Stockton bad boy came into the awaited event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a substantial underdog, and indeed the first round appeared to go to McGregor after Diaz was bloodied by a stinging series of patented left hands from the featherweight champ. But just when ‘The Notorious’ had seemingly taken over, Diaz came back with his own combos as he walked through the fading offense of the tiring Irishman to win with an electric choke.
The win has Diaz on the precipice of a lightweight title fight, yet there’s one problem in the way of that booking considering Diaz faced and was soundly beaten by current champion Rafael dos Anjos in December 2014. Diaz blamed an injury for the horrific performance after badly missing weight but it’s still hard to say if he would present any more of a challenge to the dominant but oft-injured champion.
No matter what he’s headed for a massive fight next, so if he doesn’t get ‘RDA’ as McGregor suggested last night, he could certainly square off with Anthony Pettis, with whom he has a long and well-documented beef with, Eddie Alvarez, or the winner of the upcoming Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov bout at UFC on FOX 19. It was even somehow discussed that he could meet welterweight champ Robbie Lawler for the 170-pound title.
The future is bright for the younger Diaz brother after shaking up the entire framework of the UFC. Whom do you think he should face next?