One of the most popular fighters in the UFC appears to be heading back to his natural weight class. Dana White revealed this morning to The Mac Life that the promotion is working on the return of Nate Diaz (20-12).
White said that the UFC was working on a Nate Diaz fight as we speak. He also said that the fight would take place at lightweight which is the natural weight class for Nate Diaz. Diaz hasn’t fought at 155 since 2015 when he defeated Michael Johnson.
When Diaz fought Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis, those fights were at welterweight despite all being natural lightweights. White also said that the fight would get Diaz right back into the title picture should he win in his return to lightweight.
We didn’t see Nate Diaz in a UFC octagon in 2020. Late in the year, the promotion looked to be moving towards booking the rematch between him and Jorge Masvidal. However, the UFC has decided to shift gears towards Masvidal – Colby Covington.
That left Nate Diaz without a dance partner. There really didn’t appear to be a clear matchup for Diaz at welterweight or lightweight. However, using White’s clues about his return to 155, let’s try to figure it out.
The UFC’s plan for Diaz
A fight that makes total sense for all parties involved is Nate Diaz – Tony Ferguson (25-5). That would be the biggest fight in my opinion that the UFC could make, however, Dana White said that the fight for Diaz is not Ferguson.
It’s hard to imagine that the promotion would book him against either Justin Gaethje (22-3) or Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC). The plan currently is for those two to fight assuming the promotion can get the fight done.
The next available contender would be Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13). This fight would actually be a rematch from several years ago when RDA completely dominated Nate Diaz over the course of three rounds.
I find it pretty hard to believe that this would be the potential fight that White is hyping up. At this point, the most logical option appears to be Paul Felder (17-6). Considering the spot in the top ten, that would be the only opponent I can think of for Diaz.
White said that the win for Diaz would get him right back in the mix. Felder makes the most sense unless the UFC believes that the RDA rematch is the fight to make. Time will tell what will happen with Nate Diaz.