What is holding up the UFC and Nate Diaz?

There might not be another fighter in the UFC who wants to fight more than Nate Diaz (20-13). Diaz has been asking for fights and he wanted to get back in the octagon as soon as this month. Last month, he called for a fight with Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC).

Poirier recently revealed that the UFC was trying to put together a fight with him and Diaz sooner than later. In fact, it appeared that there was some momentum in the fight getting booked for UFC 272 in February. However, all that momentum has hit a screeching halt.

So, what is the issue? Well the issue lies on the Diaz side of things. There is one big roadblock for the promotion in booking this fight and that is the status of Diaz’s contract. Currently, Diaz only has one fight left on his current deal and that is giving pause to the UFC.

The UFC’s Plan

Nate Diaz is a massive star for the UFC. The UFC doesn’t like their massive stars testing free agency. There’s a reason why the promotion has rarely let big time talent walk over the years. Most of the time, the best fighters who the promotion wants, never touch free agency.

Why is that? Well, the UFC will hold up on booking the final fight of their contract and try to negotiate an extension. Most of the time, the promotion is able to secure an extension and fights get booked. However, things haven’t been as smooth so far with Nate Diaz.

Ariel Helwani shed some light on this last week. Let’s be clear, Nate Diaz wants to fight. He wants to fight the best there is to fight. The UFC wants to keep Diaz around and for that reason, they are holding him up until they can secure him for additional fights.

It’s like a game of chicken. Diaz just wants the UFC to give him a fight while the UFC wants Diaz to sign an extension. It will all come down to who blinks first. One thing that’s for sure, if the promotion blinks, don’t expect Diaz to fight someone with a big name.

The last thing the UFC wants is for Diaz to have a fight that makes him a bigger star just to see him test free agency. Diaz will only get a big fight if he agrees to additional fights. Negotiations are still ongoing but hopefully we should hear something soon.

Momentum building for Nate Diaz – Dustin Poirier at UFC 272

One of the biggest fights the UFC could make looks like it’s coming together. Today, Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) appeared on The Fight with Teddy Atlas. During his appearance on the podcast, Poirier shed some light on a potential upcoming fight.

At first, Poirier was hinting that his next fight would be short-notice. He said that he didn’t want to give anything away, but he said that UFC fans would be pumped for the matchup. The co-host of the show said that he had to be talking about Nate Diaz (20-13) and Poirier acknowledged that to be the truth.

Poirier said that he was called in the last couple of days regarding a short-notice fight with Diaz. He said that the fight would take place in less than six weeks which lines it up for UFC 272 in February. The title fight between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker currently is headlining that card.

However, Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier is currently scheduled to be the co-main event of UFC 272. While that’s a good fight, it’s likely not what the UFC wants in their co-main event slot. That is where this potential Poirier – Diaz fight comes into play.

UFC 272 for Poirier – Diaz?

This whole thing started when Diaz said that he would fight Poirier in January on Twitter. Poirier responded saying that he would fight Diaz whenever Diaz would accept the fight. The UFC kicked the tires on making the fight happen, but ultimately opted against it.

Dana White recently said that the UFC would make the fight happen if the fighters wanted it along with the fans. Well, both guys want this fight and it appears close to being a signed deal. Poirier hinted that at this point the only thing standing in the way is signed contracts.

This would be the final fight on Diaz’s UFC contract and the fight would take place at welterweight. It would be a massive fight for both men and the winner could be looking at a summer showdown with Conor McGregor. Assuming this fight gets done, fans should be very excited.

Three UFC fights that need to happen in 2022

Conor McGregor, UFC

The calendar is getting ready to turn over to 2022 and the UFC has big plans for the next calendar year. There were so many big fights that took place in 2021, and the world’s premier MMA organization will look to continue that next year.

Some of the notable fights that took place this year are the two fights with Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Charles Oliveira became the UFC lightweight champion when he knocked out Michael Chandler.

UFC 261 featured the return to arenas and saw Kamaru Usman and Rose Namajunas score big knockout wins in their title fights. Then you had the fight of the year at UFC 268 when Justin Gaethje defeated Michael Chandler.

So many epic moments and epic fights took place this year. As mentioned, the UFC is already making fights through April of next year. There are some big things in the works.

That being said, what are some of the fights that are must makes for the promotion next year?

UFC fights that need to happen

Conor McGregor – Nate Diaz 3

This one feels like an obvious choice. The UFC needs to make the trilogy between Conor McGregor (22-6) and Nate Diaz (20-13). It’s a perfect time in both men’s career to run this fight back.

When they first fought, Diaz shocked everyone by submitting Conor McGregor at UFC 196. Then McGregor won an instant classic in the rematch at UFC 201. Since then, the trilogy has been always on the table.

However, the UFC has never pulled the trigger on it. Given where both men stand, I think it’s the perfect time for it.

Colby Covington – Jorge Masvidal

The next fight the UFC needs to make is arguably the biggest grudge match there is to make. That would be the matchup between former teammates and close friends Colby Covington (16-3) and Jorge Masvidal (35-15).

Both of these men are also in a very similar position. They’ve both lost to Kamaru Usman twice and will need some big momentum to warrant a third shot against the UFC champion.

They’ve been jawing at each other for the past couple of years, but the fight has never come together. Now is the time for the UFC to make this happen and even perhaps make them coaches on The Ultimate Fighter.

Jon Jones – Heavyweight Champion

The last fight the UFC needs to make this year is booking Jon Jones‘ (26-1, 1 NC) return fight for the heavyweight title. We haven’t seen Jones in the UFC since the beginning of 2020.

Jones has bulked up in anticipation of his heavyweight debut which is expected to be for the title. Next month, Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane will battle for the undisputed heavyweight title.

You can imagine that Jones will be watching closely. He’s hinted that he wants to fight the winner next summer, and I think that would be an ideal situation for the UFC.

UFC: Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier down to fight each other

UFC 269 was this past weekend and Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) was fighting for the lightweight title. It was Poirier’s second opportunity at undisputed lightweight gold.

Charles Oliveira (32-8) was able to defeat Poirier on Saturday by submission. The loss made Poirier 0-2 in bids to become the UFC‘s undisputed lightweight title.

A dejected Poirier appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show yesterday and talked about the fight. Poirier mentioned that he hadn’t watched the fight back yet and that he didn’t know what would be next.

In fact, Poirier mentioned that he doesn’t know if he’s going to fight at lightweight ever again. Poirier has expressed interest for a while in moving up to the UFC’s welterweight division.

When asked about potential opponents, Poirier said there’s only one name that gets him excited. That would name is Stockton’s own Nathan Diaz (20-13).

Both interested in January UFC fight

These two were supposed to fight a couple of years ago. However, Poirier had to pull out of the fight with an injury and fans never got to see the highly anticipated matchup.

Diaz took to Twitter yesterday and said that he would fight Poirier next month. Poirier then responded saying that he would fight Diaz this month and the two went back-and-forth.

UFC 270 is the January PPV and one of the main card fights just dropped off. Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier has shifted to UFC 271 in February.

With the main card opening there, the writing is on the wall if the UFC is interested in making it happen. Ariel Helwani reported last night that it’s not just Twitter talk and that both Diaz and Poirier have serious interest in fighting.

My guess is that the UFC is going to start working towards making this happen. The promotion has been trying to figure out the perfect fight for Diaz as he only has one fight left on his contract.

I think everyone can agree that a fight with Dustin Poirier would be perfect. This will definitely be something to watch over the coming days.

After falling short at UFC 269, what’s next for Dustin Poirier?

This past weekend at UFC 269, the undisputed lightweight title was on the line. Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) was looking to finally get his hands on undisputed gold when he took on Charles Oliveira (32-8).

For Dustin Poirier, the fight couldn’t have started better at UFC 269. The former interim champion dropped Oliveira and hurt him a couple of times in the first round. Things were going according to plan.

However, the second round saw the momentum completely shift. After a grappling exchange, Poirier found himself on the bottom. Fearful of the submission game of Oliveira, Poirier rode out the round on bottom while eating plenty of elbows.

In the third round, Oliveira charged forward and forced another grappling exchange. This time, the UFC champion was able to immediately get the back of Dustin Poirier.

Once there, the fight was essentially over. Oliveira started attacking a rear-naked choke and was able to lock one in. Poirier tried to fight it off but was forced to tap as Oliveira successfully defended his UFC lightweight title.

What’s next after UFC 269?

There are no other words to describe Poirier’s loss other than crushing. Poirier admitted at the post-fight press conference that he was heartbroken and devastated by the result.

Make no mistake about it, Dustin Poirier is one of the best fighters in the UFC. However, undisputed gold has been outside of his reach his entire career.

He got his first shot two years ago against Khabib Nurmagomedov and suffered the same result. Now, The Diamond must go back to the drawing board and figure out whats next.

The UFC does have a couple of options they can look at. An obvious choice from a rankings perspective is Michael Chandler (22-7). Chandler is on a two-fight losing streak but the losses came to Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.

A fight between Poirier and Chandler would re-establish one of them right in the title picture. If Poirier is looking for a big money fight, I love the idea of him and Nate Diaz (20-13).

These two have wanted to fight for years and now could be the perfect time. Diaz needs a fight and Poirier might want a money fight over a contender fight with Chandler.

That fight could setup a potential fourth matchup with Conor McGregor (22-6) once McGregor is ready to return over the summer. There are still plenty of big fights out there for Poirier and don’t rule him out just yet.

What does the UFC do with Nate Diaz?

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.

Who will Conor McGregor face in his UFC return?

Conor McGregor, UFC

The biggest star in the UFC is getting closer and closer to returning. Conor McGregor (22-6) is still recovering after he broke his leg in his last fight against Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC) back in July. The fight was the third installment of the rivalry between the two men.

With McGregor losing by doctor stoppage at UFC 264, McGregor went 0-2 against Poirier this year after winning their first fight. However, there are a lot of questions still surrounding the rivalry especially with the way the third fight ended.

McGregor took to his Twitter account over the weekend to answer some fans questions. Of course, many UFC fans were wanting to know when he would be making his return to the octagon.

In a response, McGregor said that he would resume full MMA sparring in April with a UFC return imminent at that point. Given that information, we should probably expect a McGregor return in the early summer months.

McGregor’s UFC return

When Conor McGregor is ready to return, the UFC is going to have some decisions to make. Who will the promotion pair him up against when he returns? McGregor has publicly said that he wants to fight for the title upon his return.

However, I just don’t know how realistic that option is. With that, what are some more realistic options for The Notorious one. I think the first obvious choice would be the trilogy fight with Nate Diaz (20-13).

McGregor and Diaz are both massive stars and they are currently 1-1 after two fights. This would get McGregor back into the swing of things against a big time opponent and it’s a winnable fight for him.

This would be the smart play in my opinion. Of course, there’s the outside chance that he comes right back to a fourth fight with Dustin Poirier. While the UFC could do this, I think they should hold off for now.

Another option to watch out for is Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13). Both men are former UFC lightweight champions and they have beef. They were supposed to fight years ago, but RDA pulled out with an injury.

They have had backstage run-ins and neither man likes each other. This could be another route the UFC could go. If I had to guess in terms of the likelihood, I would say it goes: Diaz, RDA, Poirier.

Who is next for Khamzat Chimaev after UFC 267?

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 267, we saw a welterweight showdown between phenom Khamzat Chimaev (10-0) and Li Jingliang (18-7). Li entered the contest ranked 11th and was supposed to present the first real challenge for Chimaev in the UFC.

Chimaev stormed on the scene last year with three quick wins over quality opponents in the span of three months. With how dominant he was the UFC rushed him to the top and booked him against top welterweight contender Leon Edwards.

However, a rough battle with COVID kept Chimaev on the shelf for over a year. This past Saturday, he finally returned and many wondered how he would look. Chimaev looked to be the same, but there were questions about his performance after a battle with COVID.

Couple that with Li as his opponent and it wasn’t expected to be easy for Chimaev. Well, at UFC 267 Chimaev made it look easier than ever. Moments into the fight, Chimaev shot in on Li and picked him up and carried him over to where Dana White was sitting.

Chimaev talked with White as he slammed Li to the ground. From there, the Chechen proceeded to smash Li before locking up a rear naked choke and putting him to sleep. Chimaev has fought four times in the UFC, he’s 4-0 and he’s only been hit once.

What’s next after UFC 267?

I swear I’m not exaggerating in saying this, but I truly believe that Khamzat Chimaev could compete with either of the welterweights fighting at UFC 268. Whether that be the champion Kamaru Usman or the challenger Colby Covington, I really believe Chimaev can compete.

Whether he would win or not in a potential fight with those two is a different story. With how good he looks, what should the UFC do with him next? Well, I think I want to see him fight one more guy on the back end of the top ten before jumping straight to a title eliminator.

Chimaev and Neil Magny (25-8) have had some back-and-forth for a while. Magny has already come out and said that he wanted to fight Chimaev next. UFC President Dana White said the promotion will also talk with Nate Diaz (20-13) about potentially fighting Chimaev.

However, I find it highly unlikely that Diaz would accept that fight. My guess is that Magny is going to be the guy and I think it’ll happen sooner rather than later. Given the way Chimaev is, I wouldn’t even rule out the UFC booking this fight before the end of the year.

Will Nate Diaz leave the UFC after his next fight?

One of the biggest stars in the UFC has just one fight left on his current deal. That fighter would be Stockton’s own, Nathan Diaz (20-13). Diaz has blossomed into being one of the top earners for the promotion over the past few years.

For Diaz, the rise to stardom came when he took on Conor McGregor on short-notice. McGregor hadn’t lost in the UFC and had just captured the featherweight title at the time after knocking out Jose Aldo. Diaz stepped in for an injured Rafael Dos Anjos to take on McGregor.

After a hot start from McGregor, Diaz stopped him in the second round. The two would rematch in one of the greatest fights in UFC history. McGregor got the nod, but Diaz walked away an even bigger start than he was before.

That’s been the pattern for Diaz over the past few years. Even when he doesn’t win like his matchups with Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards, he somehow gets bigger and bigger. Simply put, Diaz has become a superstar for the UFC.

One UFC Fight Left

Currently the UFC is working on a fight for Diaz. That fight will be the final one on Diaz’s current deal and then the star will get to explore free agency for the first time in his career. The question now becomes, will he resign or walk away?

There are a lot of people who believe Diaz would walk away from the UFC. Perhaps he would walk away to chase a massive payday to box Jake Paul. That boxing match has been rumored for a while and if Diaz leaves the UFC after his next fight, I could definitely see it happening.

I don’t see any scenario where Diaz would leave for either Bellator or PFL or any other MMA promotion. It’s either the UFC or boxing for Diaz. The UFC could be holding a few aces in their pocket that could convince Diaz to stay for at least one or two more fights.

The Conor McGregor trilogy fight makes a ton of sense for next summer. McGregor will be returning from injury and it would line up perfectly after Diaz completes his contract in early 2022. The McGregor trilogy could be his first fight back.

Should he win that fight, the UFC could go then potentially pair him with a Dustin Poirier who might very well be the lightweight champion. These two have wanted to fight for years and Diaz could be an attractive opponent for Poirier.

Then there’s the BMF rematch which almost happened last year. These three fights would all be massive for Diaz and would net him a pretty penny. Would any pay more than a boxing match with Jake Paul? That remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to watch how this story plays out in the coming months.

Is the UFC targeting Nate Diaz – Tony Ferguson?

Today we might’ve seen a hint that the UFC is targeting a lightweight matchup that fans have wanted to see for years. One of the biggest stars in the sport, Nate Diaz (20-13) took to Twitter today and posted a very cryptic tweet.

The tweet was just a picture of former interim UFC lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson (25-6). El Cucuy and Nate Diaz have long been linked to each other but a fight between the two men never materialized.

Now, with Diaz seemingly targeting Ferguson, perhaps the UFC is going to move in that direction. Over the past few years, Diaz has really been directing his own career. Usually, if he wants to fight someone, the promotion makes it happen.

Diaz got two fights with Conor McGregor, a fight with Jorge Masvidal, a fight with Anthony Pettis, then he recently fought Leon Edwards at UFC 263. The fight with Edwards made no sense for Diaz from a rankings perspective, but it’s the fight Diaz wanted so he got it.

Last UFC stand for El Cucuy?

Stockton’s Own appears to be targeting El Cucuy. Ferguson appears to be nearing the end of his run in the UFC. For years, Tony Ferguson was looked at as one of the very best lightweights in the world. In fact, for a while, many considered him to be the very best.

In the deepest division in the UFC, Ferguson went on a 12-fight win streak from 2013 to 2019. During that time he defeated the likes of Rafael Dos Anjos, Josh Thomson, Anthony Pettis, and Donald Cerrone. The highlight was his interim title victory over Kevin Lee.

During this stretch, the UFC tried to book Ferguson against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title. In the six year stretch, Ferguson and Khabib were supposed to fight five times but it always fell through. Most recently at UFC 249 last April.

Ferguson ended up fighting Justin Gaethje for an interim title and lost. That loss started a streak that has now seen Ferguson lose three fights in a row. El Cucuy still has his following but it’s harder to book him a fight nowadays. A fight with Nate Diaz would satisfy the masses and makes sense for both men.