There has been much speculation as to which division will see the return of Nate Diaz. The former UFC Lightweight title contender has switched back and forth with the welterweight division where he had his last fight but makes it clear that he’s not going back to 155 because he believes it’s dead.
Since the departure of undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254, the lightweight division has been in search of a new reigning fighter. Right now, Dustin Poirier has been gaining limelight since defeating Conor Mcgregor at UFC 257, along with Charles Oliveira who thrashed Tony Ferguson at UFC 256.
Nate Diaz rejecting lightweight for comeback: “feel like I own it already”
Nate Diaz, who was last seen in action against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 where he lost via TKO, plans his comeback to the octagon by facing either Poirier or Oliveira but doesn’t want to fight them at 155. Reason? Diaz believes lightweight is now a “dead division.”
“That’s the guy right there,” Nate Diaz told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani in a video interview on Tuesday about fighting Oliveira on his comeback, “I’ll fight that guy. That’s who I’ll fight. I like the winners because I’m the winner. I ain’t lost to nobody. I’m trying to fight the guys who are winning.”
Along with the Brazillian, Poirier’s name also came up as the ‘best fight’ at lightweight: “I think Oliveira is the best fight right now and Dustin Poirier.”
Diaz originally earned a chance to face Poirier at UFC 230, but the bout had to be canceled after the latter sustained an injury.
While UFC prez Dana White has been hinting Diaz’s return at 155, the fighter himself makes it clear that he would meet Poirier or Oliviera at welterweight, not at lightweight, and has his reasons not to.
“I’ll fight probably at 170, 165, anything to 185. Not 155. That’s a dead division,” the 35-year-old went on, “I don’t have anything that I’m hunting in that division, nothing I’m aiming for. I feel like I own it already, so I’ll probably fight at 170 pounds.”
Although Diaz made his MMA debut as a lightweight back in 2004, he switched to welterweight for a year in 2010, before returning to 155 in 2011. However, he moved to welterweight for the second time in 2015, and from what we see from his words, Diaz prefers to stick there for now and also in the future.
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