Nate Diaz gave his first interview in over a year earlier this week, speaking with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani about his fighting future. Diaz confirmed he wants to compete multiple times this year and hopes to get back into the cage in the coming months.
Diaz also revealed who he wants to fight and at what weight. There have been discussions in the MMA community about the fighter from Stockton, California possibly rejoining the lightweight ranks. Diaz halted those conversations, saying he doesn’t want to drop back down to 155 pounds.
He is eyeing a fight with either No. 1 ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier or No. 3 ranked Charles Oliveira. Diaz wants to compete against either fighter at welterweight or at a catchweight of 165 pounds.
Speaking with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto this week, White didn’t comment on the two names Diaz brought up, but he did confirm that the UFC wouldn’t put on a fight at 165 pounds.
“Nate can fight at 170 pounds if he wants to. There will be no 165-pound fights,” White said. “And yeah, I’m aware that he wants to fight. So, we’ll see if we can get him something.”
Okamoto then asked White to name a possible opponent he has in mind for Diaz.
“[The] welterweight division is nasty,” White said. “I don’t know. I’d have to see who he wants to fight. It always goes like this. Who does he want to fight, who’s available, what makes sense? There’s so much that goes into it.”
“When the Diaz brothers say, ‘We’re doing something,’ I usually sit back and just wait until it happens. I don’t overthink it.”
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Oliveira & Poirier Both Reacted to Diaz’s Fight Challenge
As Diaz is one of the UFC’s biggest superstars, he got the attention of both Poirier and Oliveira after challenging them. After the interview was released by ESPN, Poirier took to Twitter to confirm his interest in fighting Diaz.
He tweeted, “A fight closer to my natural weight sounds like a great idea.”
A fight closer to my natural weight sounds like a great idea
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 9, 2021
A few days later, a fan asked Poirier if would fight Diaz at 170 pounds, and “The Diamond” wrote, “We’ll see what happens.”
On the other end, Oliveira doesn’t want to fight Diaz right now. He is solely focused on achieving the lightweight title. Oliveira tweeted, “Status: No interest, homie. Goal: Lightweight belt.”
Status: No interest, homie. 👍
Goal: Lightweight belt
— Charles Oliveira (@CharlesDoBronxs) February 11, 2021
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Diaz Is 1-1 in the Last 4.5 Years
Diaz has fought twice since his blockbuster rematch against Conor McGregor in August 2016. He made his return in August 2019, fighting former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Diaz put on a fantastic boxing performance, defeating “Showtime” by unanimous decision.
In November of the same year, he followed up his fight with Pettis by competing for the “Baddest Motherf*****” belt against Jorge Masvidal. Diaz lost the bout by doctor’s stoppage and hasn’t competed since.