The UFC is currently in a unique spot with one of their biggest stars. Nate Diaz (20-13) is currently looking for a fight and he cannot seem to get one locked down despite the promotion exploring a variety of options.
Diaz has one fight left on his UFC contract and the promotion is trying to decide what to do with that fight. Most recently, the promotion has tried to offer Diaz a fight with superstar prospect Khamzat Chimaev (10-0).
Chimaev is coming off of another massive win at UFC 267 where he completely destroyed Li Jingliang in the first round. The Chechen welterweight has finished every opponent he’s faced in four fights and he’s only absorbed one significant strike.
The UFC is struggling to find Chimaev an opponent for his next fight as well. Given the star power of Diaz, the promotion wanted to pair him with Chimaev to make Chimaev an even bigger star should he defeat the fan favorite, Nate Diaz.
However, Diaz isn’t interested. Diaz told TMZ that he wouldn’t fight a rookie like Chimaev but he would fight anyone in the top ten of the UFC‘s welterweight division. With that, who should the promotion pair him with?
Options for Diaz’s next UFC fight
The option that I like the most is a matchup with top contender Vicente Luque. It’s clear now that Leon Edwards is likely going to get the next shot against Kamaru Usman. With that, Luque is going to need to take another fight before getting a title shot of his own.
The UFC approached Luque about fighting his teammate Gilbert Burns. However, Luque wasn’t interested in that matchup given their relationship. I think the promotion is likely going to book Chimaev against Burns next.
With that, the opening is there for Luque to fight Diaz next and this is a fight that both men have verbally expressed interest in. However, the UFC hasn’t moved in that direction as of yet.
The only other fight to watch out for would be the BMF rematch with Jorge Masvidal. The UFC tried to make this fight last year but ultimately pivoted when they tried to book Masvidal against Covington.
That said, the word is that the UFC is fully planning on booking Masvidal against Covington now that both are coming off losses. All that being said, I think Vicente Luque – Nate Diaz is going to be Diaz’s last fight on his current UFC deal.