One of the biggest superstars in the UFC is preparing for a return to the octagon. Nate Diaz (20-12) hasn’t fought since November of 2019 in the BMF title fight that resulted in a loss for Diaz due to a cut.
Diaz didn’t get a fight in 2020, but the UFC had been working on the rematch between him and Jorge Masvidal (35-13) at one point. However, that fight fell through due to the promotion’s desire to book Masvidal against Colby Covington instead.
Now, Diaz is sizing up the UFC‘s lightweight division. He’s made it very clear on social media that he wants to fight Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC). Poirier and Diaz were originally supposed to fight a couple of years ago before Poirier suffered an injury.
Diaz has been calling for that fight on Twitter. Today, Diaz sat down with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and talked about potential opponents for his return. He told Helwani that he’s only interested in winners. The two names he listed were Poirier and Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC).
The two names at the top of @NateDiaz209's list are Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 9, 2021
Which will the UFC make?
Things just became really interesting in the UFC’s lightweight division. It’s been reported that the promotion is likely going to book the trilogy fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor next.
With that in mind, it would appear that Poirier is off the table for Nate Diaz. That leaves us with Charles Oliveira. Oliveira has been vocal about not wanting any fights if a UFC title wasn’t on the line. However, could he turn down this opportunity.
Diaz is one of the biggest stars in the sport and Oliveira needs a win over a guy like that to build himself up. As of now, it looks like the UFC is going to book Michael Chandler (22-5) against Justin Gaethje (22-3) which leaves Oliveira without an opponent. Assuming the Poirier – McGregor trilogy is on.
If Oliveira is the fight Diaz wants, I can definitely see the UFC moving to book that fight. In reality, it’s a win-win situation for the promotion. If Oliveira wins, he gets the much needed rub that would push him over the top.
However, if Nate Diaz wins, one of the biggest stars in the sport is now squarely in the title picture. Granted, Diaz did say in the interview that he has no interest in making 155 pounds. You can check out Diaz’s full interview with Ariel Helwani below.