It seemed inevitable that Nate Diaz would step inside the Octagon against No. 4-ranked UFC welterweight Vicente Luque, however it appears Diaz has moved on.
And he’s challenged a fan-favorite veteran.
On October 22, 2021, Diaz took to Twitter and shared a photo of former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson holding up the belt. See below:
Commenting on Diaz’s tweet, MMA reporter Ariel Helwani wrote: “Diaz moving on from Luque. This fight was supposed to happen in 2017. Makes sense.”
Diaz and Ferguson are both major names in the sport and stylistically, a fight between them would ensure fireworks. And fans have called on the UFC to put these two fighters together for years.
Helwani also shared four reasons why it makes sense for the promotion to schedule Diaz vs. Ferguson on January 22, 2022, at UFC 270.
“Nathan Diaz x Tony Ferguson would make too much sense for UFC 270 in Anaheim, Calif,” Helwani wrote. “Years in the making * NorCal x SoCal at the Pond * Reunites Moreno and Diaz * Last fight on Diaz’s current contract. Let’s do it.”
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto chimed in on the potential fight as well, tweeting: “I’ve always thought Nate Diaz vs. Tony Ferguson made sense for years now. The main reason it was never close was Nate had no interest. Perhaps that has changed.”
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Diaz & Ferguson Both Haven’t Won Since 2019
Diaz and “El Cucuy” are both on losing streaks. Ferguson is currently on a 0-3 skid and Diaz is 0-2 in his last two fights.
El Cucuy’s 12-fight win streak was snapped in May 2020 when he lost to Justin Gaethje by fifth-round TKO. The fight was for the interim UFC lightweight belt.
Ferguson then went on to lose lopsided unanimous decisions to Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush.
Diaz fought earlier this year against Leon Edwards and dropped a unanimous decision. Before that, he competed against Jorge Masvidal in 2019 for the “BMF” title and lost by third-round TKO.
Diaz & Luque Wanted to Fight, Unclear What’s Happening
As mentioned at the top, it seemed destined that Diaz and Luque would fight next. Both fighters had shown interest in the match and were ready to sign a fight contract. That hasn’t happened, however.
““I ain’t got a contract,” Diaz tweeted on October 14, 2021. “It must be something wrong wit luque.”
But a few days before Diaz’s tweet, MMA Junkie interviewed “The Silent Assassin” about the potential fight and Luque confirmed was waiting to receive a contract.
“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.”
There has been speculation in the MMA community that the UFC hasn’t offered Diaz, who appears to have one fight left on his contract, a contest as they want him to re-sign with the promotion. This has not been verified by the promotion or Diaz himself.
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