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.
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.
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? Some people have even thrown Tyron Woodley’s name into the mix as a potential opponent.
“Don’t be surprised if you see me in the next couple days announce a fight,” Woodley told FloCombat. “It’s a sport about risk and reward. It’s a sport about becoming a legend. You look at guys that have stepped up on last minute and it changed their lives. I don’t think that I should be any different.
“There’s a lot of guys in my weight class that are talking, they’re chirping, everybody wants the title, everybody wants to fight me, everybody thinks they can beat me. People are talking because they think I can’t fight. They think I’m injured to the point where I can’t compete and I’m not going back and forth with them so that gives them more wings to keep flying.
“At the end of the day, none of the people in my division right now are the fight that are going to get me to legendary status,” he added. “Get me to the point where I’m a household name. I’m looking for that and I might have found that fight.”
Ariel Helwani confirmed on Twitter that the UFC are trying to make Tyron Woodley v Nate Diaz as the main event for UFC 219.
This was the rabbit in the hat I eluded to yesterday on the show. No deal yet, I’m told. They are getting creative. Couple other ideas, too. Event is 6 weeks away and no main event. https://t.co/96XuOBHzll
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 15, 2017
More to come.