Anthony Smith waxes lyrical over Nate Diaz ahead of UFC 263

Nate Diaz

In case you didn't already know, Anthony Smith is a big fan of Nate Diaz. 

Diaz (20-12) returns from a near-two year long hiatus on Saturday night at UFC 263 when he takes on Leon Edwards in the first five-round, non-title fight in UFC history. 

There's no doubt Diaz is one of the biggest stars in the sport and, with the American returning to the Octagon for the first time since suffering a loss to Jorge Masvidal in November 2019, fans are eager to see him in action again.  

With a record of 20-12, Diaz doesn't exactly have the prettiest of records, but appearances can be deceiving. The younger brother of Nick Diaz, fighting is ingrained in his DNA, and so his record does little to harm his reputation. 

His two-fight series with Conor McGregor catapulted him into stardom and was a major turning point in his career, helping him become the household name he is today. He also holds notable career wins over the likes of Donald Cerrone, Jim Miller and Michael Johnson.   

Speaking in Las Vegas, Smith couldn't help but gush over the Stockton native - suggesting he would even tune into watch him take part in a cooking show. 

"It doesn’t matter what Nate is doing," Smith said to ESPN. "If he’s cooking, I’m tuning in and I’m gonna [sic] watch.

"And I'll pay pay-per-view money to do it."

1 of 20
Jens Pulver

Can you get 20/20 on our random UFC fighters quiz? We doubt it...

Diaz broke into the UFC in 2007, after fighting for the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting. He scored a highlight-reel, second-round submission of Manvel Gamburyan in the finale of season five of The Ultimate Fighter and would go on to win four of his next five fights with the promotion. 

In November 2019, Diaz stepped up to face Masvidal for the inaugural 'Baddest M-----------' belt in a five-round main event at UFC 244, after UFC president Dana White confirmed the UFC would create a one-off belt specially for the event. Diaz ultimately came up short against Masvidal in what was perceived by many to be a relative mismatch, although he by no means disgraced himself at all. 

In the UFC's official welterweight rankings, Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) is currently ranked third; however, Diaz will likely need at least another win to work his way into title contention. Prior to his loss to Masvidal, Diaz dominated Anthony Pettis in a lopsided unanimous decision win in their three-round co-main event at UFC 241 in August 2019.  

Read more: Anderson Silva exclusive: Canelo Alvarez is 'the best in the sport right now'

News Now - Sport News