Diaz returned to the Octagon for the first time since 2019 earlier this year when he took on No. 3-ranked welterweight Leon Edwards at UFC 263 in June 2021. Diaz lost the fight by unanimous decision but provided fans with an exciting end to the five-round contest, nearly finishing Edwards in the closing minute of the fight.
After the match, Diaz said he planned to return to the Octagon before the year was up, but with less than three months before 2022, it’s becoming more and more unlikely that fans will see him before the new year.
Diaz has been active on social media affirming that he wants to fight. He and No. 4-ranked welterweight Vicente Luque seemed to be on a collision course with both fighters exclaiming interest in a bout. However, it doesn’t appear pen has touched paper for either combatant.
Diaz also recently challenged No. 7-ranked lightweight Tony Ferguson, seemingly moving on from Luque.
Well, the UFC president was asked about Diaz’s status. White spoke with the media during the UFC Fight Night 196 post-fight press conference on Saturday night and confirmed that Diaz only has one fight left on his contract with the promotion. He also said that they’re actively working on getting Diaz a fight, but they hadn’t considered Ferguson as an opponent.
“He’s got one more fight,” White said via MMA Junkie. “We’re working on a fight for him. Tony (Ferguson) wasn’t one of the guys we’re working on, but we’re working on a fight for Nate now. He’s got one fight left (on his contract).
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Confusion Struck Diaz About Setting Up Luque Fight
Luque has called out Diaz several times through the past year and Diaz recently came out on Twitter to accept.
However, on October 14, 2021, Diaz tweeted: “I ain’t got a contract. It must be something wrong wit luque.”
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Luque Said He Told His Manager He Wants to Fight Diaz
But a week prior to Diaz’s tweet, Luque spoke with MMA Junkie and confirmed his willingness to fight Diaz. He said he would be prepared to fight Diaz whenever the UFC wanted to make it happen.
“When two guys want to fight, you know you got to make them fight,” Luque said. “What else can you do about it? I think that the UFC, they’ve got to figure some things out. I talked to my manager Ali and I let him know that I really want this fight.
“I’ll be ready November, December, whenever they want to make it, I’m going to be ready. And we’re trying to make it happen. I know Nate wants it as well. He’s looking forward to fighting in December. So I think it makes sense whenever he wants to have it, I’m going to be in. I’m going to stay ready and if it makes sense for the UFC, I think it does because it’s a big fight.
“I might not be that trash talker, but I can fight. I can go in there and put on a show. The fans are going to want to watch this fight, whenever I’m matched with somebody they’re going to watch it. And matched with a guy like Diaz, I think that’s even better. So yeah, I think it makes sense.”