Mixed martial arts fans have not seen popular UFC lightweight star Nate Diaz inside the Octagon since the 20th of August 2016 at UFC 202 when he lost his welterweight rematch against current UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor by majority decision.
The Stockton native had previously defeated McGregor via rear naked choke submission in the second round of their bout at UFC 196. It seems like that all may be about to change, according to a deleted post by one of Diaz’s coaches.
Diaz had weathered an early storm in the first fight, with McGregor expelling vast amounts of energy as he hoped to put Diaz away in the first round. By the second round, McGregor had begun to slow down, and Diaz’s confidence grew as he outstruck the Irishman, eventually allowing him to land a one-two combination that would ultimately see him choking his opponent on the ground for the win.
Could Diaz finally now be set to come back and face McGregor once more? “You fight fans be ready,” wrote Diaz’s strength and conditioning coach Jose Garcia in an Instagram post that was quickly deleted. “Diaz back to #asswhopping business .. fight camp we live.”
Of particular note is the hashtag “#2017”, meaning we may just be lucky enough to see the Stockton back inside the octagon before the year is out. The photograph in the post depicts Diaz slapping UFC president Dana White in the face as part of their negotiations for the Diaz’s rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 202.
I’m told that Nate Diaz is currently finalizing the deals for his next fight. I was not given the opponent but was told “Nate’s supporters will love this matchup”.
— Chris Taylor (@CTaylor_96) November 14, 2017
The UFC is now scrambling to secure the main event for UFC 219 on their New Years Eve marquee show given that Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm is not an option for the event, Dominick Cruz has been pulled from his fight with Jimmie Rivera due to a broken arm and McGregor allegedly being pulled off the card due to his recent controversial cage invasion at Bellator 187. The card desperately needs a main event, and with it being suggested that Diaz could be fighting in 2017 by his own coach… we think it’s likely he’d be put on the UFC 217 card if they can find him a worthy dance partner.
So who could Diaz be taking on if he is indeed fighting in 2017? McGregor certainly could be a possibility, as could interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson. Some people have even thrown Tyron Woodley’s name into the mix as a potential opponent. Regardless of who it turns out to be, we cannot wait to see Diaz back in the cage.
Check out the deleted Instagram post below and let us know what you think!