Nate Diaz next fight: One matchup is his 'best chance' of success - and it's not Conor McGregor

  • Tom Ward

Daniel Cormier wants to see Nate Diaz take on Michael Chandler before he fights out of his UFC contract.

Diaz, 36, revealed in January he is considering a move to boxing after losing to Leon Edwards in June of last year.

The Stockton brawler reportedly has one fight left on his current deal with the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation and was recently linked to a trilogy fight against his old rival Conor McGregor.

But Cormier believes he still has one big fight left in him and wants to see him get back in the octagon against Chandler, despite the fact he hasn’t won a fight since beating Anthony Pettis three years ago.

Cormier said on his YouTube channel: “I think Nate Diaz has finally got it right.

“Nate Diaz has finally got a target that gives him the best chance for success. You know who it is? It’s my boy Michael Chandler.

“After what Chandler did to Tony Ferguson, I still look at the matchup, and within that matchup I see places for Nathan Diaz to find success. Why? We saw Tony Ferguson, for the first time in many, many fights, land something significant on someone, knocking my boy Chandler down.

“Why? My boy Chandler kind of stands in front of people. If you know Nathan Diaz, he’s constant pressure, he’s in your face, he’s boxing you up, and he’s long.

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“I know Michael Chandler is a ton of bricks, he’s a monster for the weight class, but if Diaz can go up to 170, be tough enough and durable enough to go 25 minutes with Leon Edwards and lose pretty much the whole fight and then hurt him at the end in the way that he did, he can fight a 155-pounder at 170.

“He’s not depleting himself so much that everything Mike throws at him will hurt him. I’m not by any means saying this is an easy fight for either guy. I’m saying that in all the matchups that we have seen Diaz tied to, this is the one that I think he has the most chances to find sustained success.

“Mike’s a tad bit shorter, Mike is really good at striking, and as you know with wrestlers, once we learn to strike, it’s all we want to do.

“So you’ll see Chandler strike for extended periods of time, which plays into Diaz’s favour.”

Chandler, 36, is coming off a highlight-reel knockout of former interim champion Tony Ferguson, his most impressive win to date.

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And while Cormier isn’t sure if Diaz will win, he does expect it to at least be competitive.

He continued: “Now, can Michael Chandler dominate Nathan Diaz? Absolutely.

“But I think in this matchup, I think this is the best matchup for Nate to try to find success, because he’s a massive name, but even when you’re a massive name, you have to have a name that stands alongside you that brings something to the equation.

“That’s why you don’t see Diaz just coming in and fighting anybody. After what Mike did last weekend, Michael Chandler is deserving to stand across the octagon against one of the biggest stars in the UFC.

“If I’m Nate Diaz, and as unhappy as he has seemed for all this time, I’m calling the UFC right now and saying, ‘Hey, let me get Michael Chandler. That’s the fight I want.’

“And if I’m not too stupid, I think the UFC would be happy to oblige and put it on one of those big cards in July, August, where those guys can go out there and put on a show because it’s going to be an absolute barnburner. So Nate Diaz, call the UFC. I’m sure they’ll listen.”

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