Wild Plan To Beat Nate Diaz: ‘The Way I Picture I Will’

Nate Diaz

Getty UFC star Nate Diaz will return to the Octagon on June 12.

UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards is heading into arguably the most important fight of his career against UFC superstar Nate Diaz on June 12 at UFC 263, and the 29-year-old told Mirror his wild plan was to meet the American right in the center of the Octagon for exactly the type of showdown that’s helped make Diaz famous.

“Nate is going to be coming out looking for a war, like he does in all his fights, and I don’t think he’s going to look to get me to the ground looking for submissions. He’s going to pressure me from the get-go, like when he fought [Anthony] Pettis, he’ll try to put me on my back foot, but I want to come out victorious and I’ll meet him in the middle,” Edwards said.

Despite the bold plan, Edwards already appears to be looking past Diaz a little bit. He’s won eight straight UFC fights since losing to UFC champ Kamaru Usman before the Nigerian-born American captured gold, and now he wants another shot at Usman as soon as possible.

“I will be a world champion by the end of 2021, that’s what I see in my head and that’s what’s going to happen,” Edwards said.

Edwards believes beating Diaz will earn him the next crack at Usman. More specifically, Edwards believes beating Diaz will make him the clear No. 1 contender in the UFC’s stacked 170-pound division.

“My body of work has proven that, but after I go out and beat Nate Diaz in the way I picture I will I can’t see where the UFC would go next,” Edwards said.

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Edwards vs. Diaz at UFC 263 on June 12

Edwards vs. Diaz is scheduled for five rounds at UFC 263. UFC president Dana White recently revealed to Yahoo why that’s the case.

“They wanted to fight five rounds. That’s what they were scheduled for on their fight before, too,” White said. 

The card is headlined by the rematch between UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori.

The co-main event is another championship rematch between UFC flyweight king Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.

It’s a stacked card, but Edwards vs. Diaz might be the most interesting fight of them all. It’s certainly an incredibly important battle for both UFC stars, and the victor should be set up nicely for future showdowns.

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UFC’s Stacked Welterweight Division Shaping Up

Edwards is currently ranked No. 3 in the division behind Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns. The former seems to be holding out hopes for getting another crack at Usman, while Burns is set to face No. 4-ranked Stephen Thompson at UFC 264 on July 10.

The winner of Burns vs. Thompson will also have a great case for getting their hands on Usman next, so Edwards will need a solid showing against Diaz to maintain his standing among the top of the division.

Meanwhile, Diaz is unranked right now, but he’s one of the most popular names in the sport. He’s been out of action since losing to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 in November 2019, but beating Edwards would vault Diaz right back to the top of the sport.

In fact, Diaz pulling the upset victory over Edwards at UFC 263 would likely give him the best chance to fight for UFC gold that he’s had in recent years. He’s easily the biggest name of all the current candidates, and Usman vs. Diaz would sell tons of pay-per-views for the company.

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Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson

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