With A New Diet In Place, Nate Diaz Returning to the Lightweight Division

Nate Diaz at UFC 118

Nate Diaz at UFC 118

It appears that Nate Diaz’s time as a welterweight, at least for the time being, is over.

The former “Ultimate Fighter” winner is looking to move back to 155 pounds after a new diet brought his weight down, which also led to him giving up a fair amount of size in his recent fight with Rory MacDonald at UFC 129.

The Stockton, Calif., native moved up to 170 pounds after a fight with Gray Maynard in early 2010 because the weight cut to lightweight seemed to be holding him back. Diaz then promptly won back-to-back fights at welterweight, putting away Marcus Davis and Rory Markham.

Following those wins, however, Diaz ran into two of the bigger, stronger welterweights in the division in MacDonald and Korean Judoka Dong Hyun Kim. Both fights resulted in losses.

With his weight now in check, Diaz, along with his coach and manager Cesar Gracie, are ready to test the waters again at lightweight.

“I had a talk with him. I said let’s go back to 55. I want to see him be the champ at 155 someday,” Gracie told MMAWeekly Radio.

A myriad of factors played into the reason for Diaz moving up to 155 pounds in the first place, but he appears ready to go back to a more natural weight.

“Really, the reason we weren’t going to do it is he wants the big fights and everything and Frankie Edgar’s up there and he’s part of that whole Renzo Gracie affiliate, maybe we should just hang out at 170 for a little bit and you don’t have to do the weight cut,” Gracie explained.

“It’s one of those things Nate for his last fight came in at 174, 175, to the fight, and he’s fighting these guys that are bigger than him. Granted, he looked flat for sure and props to the other guy that looked good. Nate looked like he woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day or something, I don’t know what was wrong with him.”

The weight cut to 155 pounds was a major concern for Diaz and his team previously, but now that he’s joined his brother Nick and teammate Jake Shields in a vegetarian diet, his weight has come down; making the lightweight cutoff won’t be nearly the problem it once was.

“I thought the weight cut was hurting him at 155 before, but now he’s walking around kind of smaller because he eats a much cleaner diet. He’s all into these raw foods and everything and he’s just not getting that huge,” said Gracie. “Now I think if he goes back to 55, he’s going to feel a lot better and beat some of these guys out there.”

Gracie still believes that Diaz can compete with the top lightweights in the world, and when he returns to action, he’s excited to see what he can do at 155 pounds.

“If he wants to make it to that elite level, he’s probably going to have to do it at that weight or below,” said Gracie.

Diaz has returned home to California following his loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC 129, but will get back into training shortly and then wait for a call from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to find out when he’ll be back in action.

Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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