After 15 years of competing inside the Octagon, Nate Diaz appears to be on his way out of the UFC.
Diaz has been lobbying for various fights over the last few months in an attempt to complete his current UFC contract. The Stockton native has called out and been linked to multiple fighters, but none have come to fruition as of yet. Intent on making 2022 his final year with the promotion, we will likely see Diaz back in the Octagon sooner rather than later, but nobody seems to know who will stand across from him when the cage door closes.
Looking at the plethora of options, we have narrowed it down to a select few that just seem to make sense for Diaz and for the fans.
‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor
This seems like the most obvious option. Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor have faced each other on two separate occasions. At UFC 196, Diaz scored a second-round submission over ‘Notorious’ to hand him his first loss in the Octagon.
Five months later they would run it back at UFC 202. This time, McGregor would come out on top earning a majority decision victory. With the series at 1-1, a rubber match seems like the next logical step and would likely net Diaz the biggest possible payday on his way out the door.
Odds makers would have a field day establishing the lines for a trilogy bout. In their first bout, Diaz was a +220 underdog. After his win at UFC 196, he was a +100 (even) for the rematch. A third fight could present fans with some very interesting odds online. For more info visit JustUK.
Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson
Who wouldn’t love to see a firefight between Nate Diaz and ‘El Cucuy’ inside the Octagon? The trash-talking alone would be a real joy for fans, but considering the trajectory of their careers, the fight would make sense. Tony Ferguson has hit a run of bad luck lately, dropping four straight bouts. While Diaz has faired slightly better, he has still lost three of his last four.
Diaz has teased a potential showdown with Ferguson, posting an image of ‘El Cucuy’ on his Twitter account, but nothing has come of it yet. While many fans believe the matchup favors Ferguson with his superior wrestling skills, Ferguson’s penchant for throwing hands would likely play into Diaz’s spectacular boxing skills treating fans to a potentially blood-soaked war.
Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal
Despite his recent trouble outside of the cage and his lack of wins inside it, ‘Gamebred’ is still a big fan favorite in the UFC. At this point in his career, Jorge Masvidal is looking for super fights. Having had two shots at Kamaru Usman’s welterweight title and a lopsided loss to rival Colby Covington, Masvidal’s best bet is to leave title aspirations behind and focus on fights that will bring in a crowd.
A rematch of their UFC 244 bout might be just what Masvidal needs to get back in the win column and set up his future in the UFC as a prize fighter. In their first bout, Masvidal emerged victorious after a cut on Diaz forced the cage-side doctors to stop the fight. That type of finish is unsatisfying for everyone involved including the fans. Running back their 2019 bout makes a lot of sense.
Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier
This fight arguably makes the most sense because both fighters have openly asked for it on multiple occasions. Both Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz have fired shots at one another on Twitter. When the two agreed to fight, it appeared to be a matter of time before ‘The Diamond’ would go toe-to-toe with the man from Stockton, CA.
For reasons unknown, the bout has never been booked, even when Poirier indicated in interviews that they had all, but signed on the dotted line. Why this fight never took place has been speculated on endlessly. Some believe Diaz is turning down fights despite what he says online. Some believe the UFC is delaying Diaz’s exit from the company.
Whatever the reason is, it’s clear that these two fighters want to square off in the Octagon. Both fighters are seemingly open to it. Give the fans what they want and let them settle things with their 4oz glove-covered fists.
What fight do you think makes the most sense for Nate Diaz’s UFC swan song?
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