UFC superstar Nate Diaz says he declined a megafight to face Leon Edwards at UFC 263 on June 12. Diaz dropped that bombshell on Yahoo’s Kevin Iole in an interview that was published late Monday night. Diaz, 36, has competed in the past against the likes of UFC superstars Conor McGregor and Jorge Masvidal, but he couldn’t seem to get either back into the cage again this year. So Diaz said he was forced to look elsewhere.
“All the guys with names and s*** were all playing dodgeball, so I was like, this is the one that’s beating everybody, so I’ll just fight him,” Diaz said.
But when he finally did get the call for a megafight, Diaz said he declined it.
“…I was like, nah, dog. You just got f***** up,” Diaz said.
Diaz returns to action this weekend at UFC 263.
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Diaz Explains Inactivity, Promises More Fights in 2021
Diaz blamed the other big names he wanted to fight for his recent inactivity. Moreover, he promised his fight against Edwards at UFC 263 wouldn’t be his last outing this year.
“I always wanted to fight multiple times, it’s these other motherf****** out here playing dodgeball…,” Diaz said.
Presumedly, Diaz wanted to face McGregor a third time after the two stars split fights in 2016. Diaz beat McGregor by second-round submission at UFC 196 in March 2016, and McGregor won the rematch by majority decision at UFC 202 five months later.
But another megafight Diaz might have had on his mind was a rematch against Masvidal.
Diaz lost by controversial stoppage to Masvidal at UFC 244 when he suffered cuts around his eye. He was promised a rematch, but it never came to fruition.
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Diaz Was Probably Talking About McGregor
When asked to clarify who he thought was ducking him, Diaz refused to offer names.
Judging by the context, it would seem he was speaking about McGregor, particularly because he claims to have declined the chance to face the superstar after that person got knocked out.
While both McGregor and Masvidal are coming off of knockout losses, Diaz’s fight vs. Edwards was announced a month or so before Masvidal suffered his knockout loss to UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 261.
McGregor’s stoppage loss to Dustin Poirier happened at UFC 257 in January.
“They wanted to go out and get knocked out first, and I was like nah, dog. You just got f***** up,” Diaz said.
But don’t worry, Diaz has a plan to make the fight happen in the future.
“Let me get f***** up a couple of times, and then we can fight,” Diaz said.
Diaz Felt Dodged by Top UFC Stars
Both Diaz vs. McGregor fights remain listed among the best-selling UFC pay-per-view events in history, but Diaz has only fought twice over the last five years with the third time scheduled for June 12 against Edwards.
Diaz told Yahoo he feels like he was being dodged by McGregor and other top UFC stars.
“It’s already been dodged. There ain’t nobody out here dodging me at the moment. I had to rest up, then go get a fight with Leon Edwards because nobody else wanted it,” Diaz said.
Without a path forward to megafights against the likes of McGregor or Masvidal, Diaz says he simply set his sights on the best available opponent. The popular American UFC star succinctly explained why Edwards fit the bill for UFC 263 on June 12.
“He’s good at winning,” Diaz said.
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