Nate Diaz (21-13) has made it clear that he wants to eventually return to the UFC. Diaz is currently scheduled to take on Jake Paul (6-1) in a boxing match that is set for August 5th. Diaz finished out his contract with the UFC last fall and set out to do his own thing.
However, Diaz has always been about fighting the best in the world and taking the biggest fights. He’s taking this boxing match against Jake Paul because he believes it’s a massive fight given the following Jake Paul has. That said, he isn’t even entertaining other MMA promotions.
Diaz has said publicly that the best fighters are in the UFC. Because of that, he wants to return to the octagon after having some time away because he still wants to achieve his dream of becoming a UFC champion. That belt is the highest honor in combat sports per Diaz.
This week, Chael Sonnen talked about plans for Diaz on his Beyond the Fight podcast. While Sonnen is known for saying some wacky things from time to time, he laid out a perfect plan for Diaz. In fact, I think it’s the ideal plan for Diaz’s fighting future.
Sonnen’s maps out Diaz’s UFC return
Sonnen threw out the scenario where Diaz defeats Jake Paul when they box in August. He then talked about Diaz’s desire to fight for championships, however, he also stated the obvious which is that Nate Diaz doesn’t really have an argument to step right into a UFC title shot.
However, he would make the ideal opponent for the BMF title. Sonnen said that an ideal return for Diaz would be facing off against the winner of Justin Gaethje – Dustin Poirier 2 which headlines UFC 291 and will be contested for the BMF title.
That fight goes down on July 29th just one week before Diaz steps in the ring against Jake Paul. While the winner of Poirier – Gaethje 2 would love a title shot, I’m not sure it’s in the cards. Charles Oliveira – Beneil Dariush fight at UFC 289 and the winner will likely face Islam Makhachev in October in Abu Dhabi.
Should Islam Makhachev win that fight in October, I think Alexander Volkanovski and him will likely rematch in early 2024 assuming that Volk retains the featherweight title in July. With that, Poirier or Gaethje is likely going to be in limbo. However, the path is there for the new BMF to welcome back Nate Diaz.
Diaz would step right into his second opportunity for the BMF title and it would give Gaethje or Poirier a massive payday. We know that Poirier has wanted to fight Diaz for a very long time and I guarantee you that Justin Gaethje would love that fight as well.
Diaz on the heels of the Jake Paul win against the new BMF would do massive numbers for the UFC. Let’s say that Diaz goes on to win the BMF title and let’s say that Leon Edwards is still the welterweight champion. You know where I’m going with this. Now, you have a path for Diaz as the BMF title holder taking on Leon Edwards for the UFC title in a rematch sometime next year.
Even if Diaz were to come back and lose in the BMF title fight, having him back in the UFC brings back the possibility of him facing Conor McGregor for the third time which will do massive numbers regardless of when it takes place.
A lot rides on Nate Diaz winning in August. However, if he does, I think the path is there for him to come right back to a BMF title fight. From there, he can go on to the Conor McGregor trilogy or a title fight before his combat sports career comes to a close.