Nate Diaz made his return to the UFC Octagon this past weekend, at UFC 241, in his native California. The Stockton slapper brought a whirlwind of fanfare with him as he headed into one of those highly anticipated fights of the year – his long awaited bout with Anthony Pettis. The two had history going into this fight, but by the end of it the respect between the two was obvious. What was even more obvious, was that Nate Diaz didn’t lose a step in his almost three years away from MMA.
So following a victory over his long time rival this past weekend, what is next for the younger Diaz brother? He made some interesting comments in his post fight press conference, which you can watch below. But it seems like we could be seeing more of him in the not too distant future.
Well let’s start out with what seems to be the most likely fight to be booked. Following his victory over Pettis, Diaz called out Jorge Masvidal in the most Nate Diaz fashion you could possibly imagine.
“Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight. All respect to the man, but there ain’t no gangsters in this game anymore. There ain’t nobody who does it right but me and him. So I know my man’s a gangster, but he ain’t no west coast gangster. You know what I’m saying?”Nate Diaz in his post fight interview at UFC 241
Well, if what he’s saying is that he wants to fight Jorge Masvidal, then I don’t think there’s any MMA fan that wouldn’t get behind that idea. Masvidal, who was in attendance that the weekend has since released a response to Nate Diaz on his new YouTube channel.
While Diaz and Masvidal may not be the most technical fighters in the world, they certainly know how to entertain the fans. Diaz proved on Saturday night that he can still get the fans on the edge of their seats, and Masvidal is coming off the back of one of the greatest knockouts that MMA has ever seen.
It seems like it’s going to happen, it should happen, and I can’t wait for it to happen. Masvidal claimed that it could be coming in November or December… But if it didn’t happen, who else could Nate Diaz take on?
It almost feels like you can’t mention Nate Diaz anymore, without mentioning Conor McGregor. Their two fights back in 2016 set the world of MMA on fire, with McGregor at the peak of his powers in the sport, Diaz caught on at the right time. Picking up a shock victory over the Irishman, before the pair went back and forth in one of the best non-title fights I’ve seen in a long time at UFC 202.
It’s been over three years since that fight, and since then we’ve only seen the two men back in the Octagon a total of three times between them. McGregor became the first simultaneous two division champion in UFC history, defeating Eddie Alvarez. He then went on to lose to Khabib Nurmagomedov last year, in his first fight after two years out of the sport.
It seemed as though McGregor was definitely suffering from some ring rust, but we didn’t see any of that with Diaz. If anything, he looked even better than he had been in his last fight. If the two men were to fight again, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Diaz come out on top. The big question however, is would we see them scrap at welterweight or at lightweight? Either way, I’d love to see this third fight take place before either man calls it a day.
Booking for Diaz is a little more difficult than it would be for most fighters. He’s made it clear that he’ll only step into the cage for fights that interest him, such as Pettis or Masvidal. So who else in the welterweight division would he be interested in taking on?
I’d certainly be interested in seeing him square off with Darren Till. I think it would be an interesting fight for the fans, though if Diaz could take the Scouser down at any point during the fight, that could be curtains. Seeing the two stand and trade could well be one for the ages however.
Another one that would be incredibly interesting, would be seeing Diaz take on former champion Robbie Lawler. The two are veterans of the sport, and Lawler seems to be coming towards the end of his career. I’d love to see these two face off inside the cage before Ruthless decides to call it a day.