Though focus had recently shifted to Nick Diaz potentially returning to the Octagon, attention has now shifted back to his brother, Nate, who is reportedly in talks to possibly return to the UFC this summer.
UFC president Dana White has time and again questioned whether or not Nate Diaz wanted to continue fighting, but according to ESPN.com, talks are underway to try and lure him back to the cage with UFC 227 as the primary target.
UFC 227 is slated for Aug. 4 in Los Angeles and already features a rematch between UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and former titleholder Cody Garbrandt.
Though sources have confirmed discussions with Diaz’s team have begun, UFC president Dana White has declined to provide any details about negotiations.
Diaz has long clamored for a trilogy bout with Conor McGregor or a shot at UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, but White has been adamant that neither of those bouts would be in the offing for his next fight.
Diaz is one of the more popular fighters on the roster, but granting him a title shot in his return doesn’t seem warranted. He is 3-4 in his last seven fights. So lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t expected to be an option, either.
Who Would Nate Diaz Fight?
The likely target for Diaz is probably someone in the Top 10 at lightweight, the weight class where he has spent the majority of his career. There are several potential options for Diaz to potentially land the co-main event slot at UFC 227.
If he were to accept a fight with someone like Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier, or Kevin Lee, Diaz could jump right back into the deep end of the pool at 155 pounds. A victory against such an opponent could put him back in a bout with McGregor or just a step or two away from a title shot.
Aside from the top contenders, there are also interesting style match-ups against the likes of Justin Gaethje, Al Iaquinta, or Edson Barboza, and, according to teammate Jake Shields, Diaz isn’t simply targeting McGregor.
“He’s not just looking for Conor,” Shields said on Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour.
“He’s looking for a fight that makes sense and that’s going to give him a big payday and a lot of hype.”