Nate Diaz hasn’t stepped foot inside the Octagon since he lost against Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016, but that wait, according to reports, could soon be coming to an end.
According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Diaz is currently in discussions with the UFC to make his long-awaited return at UFC 227 on August 4.
As for who the Stockton native could face upon his return to the Octagon, his long-time training partner Jake Shields has revealed on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour what type of fight he will be looking for.
He said, according to MMA Fighting: “He’s not just looking for Conor. He’s looking for a fight that makes sense and that’s going to give him a big payday and a lot of hype.”
As for who this opponent could be, let’s take a look three opponents Diaz should consider upon his return to the Octagon.
Eddie Alvarez would not only provide Diaz with a big payday, but he would also provide him with the fight hype that he is looking for since Alvarez is a well-known fighter thanks to his meeting with McGregor at UFC 205.
Alvarez as well has expressed his disinterest in going after the UFC Lightweight title at the moment since he believes it doesn’t have a lot of value, which is a view Diaz shares. Plus, a fight against Diaz offers him a big fight feel too, which is what he will be looking for in his next bout.
Dustin Poirier showed he can put up a fight with his Fight of the Year candidate at UFC Glendale in April against Justin Gaethje. Now, he’s positioned himself for a shot for the UFC Lightweight title.
However, champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has said that he will not be defending his title again until later this year, so a fight with Diaz might be the next-best thing for him in terms of a payday fight. Plus, it will be a good filler on his calendar until Khabib is available.
The loser of Stephen Thompson and Darren Till
Stephen Thompson and Darren Till will square off on May 27 in Liverpool. The winner will likely go on to earn themselves a UFC Welterweight title shot, while the loser will not. However, this doesn’t have to be the end of their big fights in 2018.
The loser of this fight won’t be able to challenge for a title, but UFC will still likely want to promote him, and a fight with Diaz would be the perfect answer since both fights, no matter who loses at the end of the month, would be considered the favourite to win the bout.