Photo Courtesy: Esther Lin/MMAFIGHTING.COM
Fans of the 209 rejoice! It appears as though one of Stockton, California’s favourite sons is gearing up for a return to the Octagon sooner rather than later.
Nate Diaz dropped hints on twitter, and of course, the fight world came unglued.
Diaz (19-11), hasn’t fought since a razor-thin split decision loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 202, in August of 2016. Since then, Diaz has been highly critical of the UFC and their treatment of fighters, even turning down a title shot in any weight class of his choosing. To that point, Diaz at one point even suggesting he would throw his hat into the squared-circle, even going so far as to acquire a boxing license in the state of California.
With Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov set to fight for the lightweight title at UFC 223 (even though the two fighters themselves aren’t sure if it is the real or interim title at stake), and Conor McGregor’s status still in limbo, the UFC would be smart to welcome Diaz back to the fold with open arms. He’s a fan-favourite, and given his history with McGregor, it could be one of the more lucrative returns in company history, should the ever-discussed trilogy fight come to fruition.
We’ve seen this from Diaz before. This isn’t the first time he’s struck knots with UFC brass, walked away and ultimately returned. The difference this time? After the success of his fights with “The Notorious” one, he has a much clearer understanding of his worth.
Whether it’s May, June, or even later, rest assured, the return of Nate Diaz may bring some much-needed clarity to the lightweight title picture.