UFC superstar Nate Diaz posted a cryptic message on Instagram early Monday morning. Diaz, who hasn’t competed inside the Octagon since fighting for the “BMF” belt in November 2019 against Jorge Masvidal, shared a picture of his longtime trainer Richard Perez holding mitts for him before a fight.
In the caption of the post, Diaz tagged Perez and wrote, “I’ll be out soon.” See below:
The post by Diaz can be interpreted in different ways. It could be viewed as Diaz just planning on coming down to Manteca, where Richard Perez Boxing Gym was located before shutting down earlier this year, from Stockton, Diaz’s home, to get some rounds in with his trainer.
Or, Diaz could be potentially gearing up for a comeback. Perez has trained Diaz for years and if the fighter is ready to get back to action, Diaz could be calling on Perez to help start the process.
Although Diaz hasn’t fought in 2020, he has been active on social media, calling for rematches with Masvidal and Conor McGregor. He has also alluded to a potential scrap with Dan Hooker.
Interestingly, Diaz posted the “I’ll be out soon” message on the seventh anniversary of his destruction of Gray Maynard during The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. It was the third time the two had fought and Diaz put a stamp on the rivalry, finishing Maynard in the first round via punches. The UFC celebrated the anniversary on social media. See below:
Diaz’s older brother, Nick Diaz, is also planning on making a comeback, gearing up for a potential 2021 return.
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Nate Diaz Was Recently Removed From the UFC’s Official Rankings
As mentioned, Diaz hasn’t fought in over a year. However, he held onto a top-15 ranking in the UFC’s welterweight division up until a few weeks ago.
Diaz was holding the No. 13 spot, but after the rankings updated on November 17, he was no longer on the list. Belal Muhammad was slotted in as No. 13 and rising star Khamzat Chimaev broke into the top 15 as No. 15, forcing Diaz out of the rankings.
The 35-year-old fighter from Stockton is 3-2 in his last five bouts, defeating Anthony Pettis, McGregor and Michael Johnson, and losing to Masvidal and McGregor in the rematch.
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Diaz Has Fought at Welterweight for His Last 4 Bouts, Unclear If He Is Willing to Drop Back to 155
Diaz has found success at both welterweight and lightweight.
He has competed 16 times in the UFC’s lightweight division, as well as a catchweight bout of 160.5 pounds. Diaz holds victories over the likes of Donald Cerrone, Jim Miller and Melvin Guillard at 155 pounds and has fought for the title.
In 2012, Diaz took on then-champ Benson Henderson during UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz and lost by unanimous decision.
Diaz has fought at 170 pounds eight times in the UFC and it’s where his last four bouts have taken place. It’s unclear if Diaz is willing to drop back down to lightweight, or if he plans on fighting the rest of his career at welterweight.
He holds a professional MMA record of 20-12, with five wins coming via KO or TKO, 11 by submission and four by decision.