Nate Diaz on UFC 263 return: ‘I’m the main event either way’

The Underground
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a double main event featuring two championship rematches, Stockton bad boy Nate Diaz believes his five-round special attraction scrap with Leon Edwards is the real headliner at UFC 263.

In a recent interview with MMAJunkie, the 36-year-old was asked about getting to make Ultimate Fighting Championship history in a five-round fight that’s not closing the event. Originally, the bout was set to be the co-main event at UFC 262 before an injury to Diaz postponed the booking. On Saturday night, Diaz will still get what he wanted in five rounds, but another slot down in the card than originally planned. However, for him, it doesn’t matter because he has no doubt fans are tuning in for his fight more than any other.

“I was just like, I’m trying to fight a main event. Five rounds. And [the UFC] were like, ‘we’ll give you five rounds, but we’re gonna main event these guys.’ And I’m like, whatever. I’m the main event, either way, let’s do it,” Diaz said.

Nate Diaz on what’s next: ‘I don’t care if I lose, I’m [still] fighting for a title’

Diaz has not fought in a year and a half and is unranked at welterweight. Yet he’s getting a marquee and dangerous matchup with the third-best fighter in the division. Some may think the native of California should have fought someone further down the pecking order, but he couldn’t pass up the chance to fight a “top guy” on an eight-fight win streak.

“He’s a top guy that’s been beating everybody. So why wouldn’t [I] fight the best guy?” said Diaz. “It’s impressive when somebody can win that many times in a row in the [Octagon].”

Most of Diaz’s career success has come at lightweight. And there is a great doubt if competing at 170-pounds is his optimal weight class. He has split his last two fights with Jorge Masvidal and Anthony Pettis at welterweight. Two talented fighters who competed for much of their careers at lightweight as well. Diaz was asked if Edwards may be too much to handle physically on fight night because he is a natural 170-pounder. However, Diaz believes he is well prepared to compete and win at welterweight because he thinks he can win at whatever weight he fights at.

“I fought the biggest welterweights there were anyway. I fought Dong Hyun Kim [and] Rory MacDonald back in the day. Marcus Davis and some guy that didn’t even make 170. We fought at 185. I’ve been training with Jake Shields for years and my brother [Nick Diaz]. I don’t care, I’ll fight any weight,” said Diaz.

What could come next is on the mind of many of Diaz’s fans since he has fought so sparingly over the last four years. But win or lose, Diaz has his eyes set on title fights in the future.

“I don’t care if I lose, I’m [still] fighting for a title. The plan is win here and we’ll see who’s next for me,” he said.

nate diaz
August 17, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Nate Diaz is declared the winner by decision against Anthony Pettis during UFC 241 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Although, with two fights left on his current deal, money fights and title bouts don’t necessarily have to be in the UFC.

“Whatever I’m gonna do is going to be bigger than anything anybody’s gonna do,” said Diaz

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