This past Saturday at UFC 263, Nate Diaz (20-13) took on Leon Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) on the main card. The fight between the two men was the first five-round non-title fight that wasn’t a main event in UFC history.
Diaz requested the fight be five rounds and that is exactly what he got. The reason Diaz requested the five rounds is because he’s notoriously a slow starter. Nate Diaz is normally a guy who really comes on strong in the main event rounds.
The last time we saw Diaz was at UFC 244 when he fought Jorge Masvidal (35-15). That night, a doctor called an end to the fight due to a cut above Diaz’s eye. While Masvidal controlled the early part of the fight, Diaz was coming on at the end of the third before the fight was stopped.
On Saturday night, Leon Edwards was dominating Nate Diaz throughout the fight. Edwards was throwing brutal leg kicks and he even used some trips to get Diaz to the ground. Brutal elbows cut Diaz above his eye and on the side of his head.
However, after being dominated for almost five rounds, Diaz almost pulled off the unthinkable at UFC 263. Diaz through a perfect 1-2 down the middle and Edwards was rocked badly with a minute left in the final round.
Diaz pointed at Edwards and stocked him as “Rocky” could hardly stand on his feet. In all honesty, Diaz wasted valuable time at UFC 263 after he hurt Edwards. Had he really just gone all out, I think he could’ve gotten the finish. However, the fight went to the cards and Edwards escaped with a decision.
What’s next after UFC 263?
Nate Diaz might be the only fighter on the UFC roster who can lose and his star continues to grow. Conor McGregor (22-5) is the biggest star in the history of the sport, but even his star doesn’t grow after a loss.
After UFC 263, Diaz told the media that he wanted to fight again in three or four months. Diaz also made it clear that he wants to fight top level competition in his next fight. What that, who should the UFC pair him with?
It still feels like there’s unfinished business between Diaz and Masvidal. There also feels like there’s unfinished business with Diaz and McGregor. Should McGregor lose to Poirier at UFC 264, I could see the promotion booking the trilogy between the two men since they are 1-1.
I could also see the UFC looking to do the BMF rematch. That was a fight they originally were looking at in 2020, but the fight fell through. Given the type of fights Diaz likes to have, those are the two opponents that make a lot of sense.