Although he hasn’t fought since suffering a doctor’s stoppage loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 in 2019, Nate Diaz is ready to take on two of the most elite lightweight fighters in the world. During an interview with Ariel Helwani of ESPN this week, Diaz, who was away from the UFC all of 2020, made it known that he would like to face either Dustin Poirier or Charles Oliveira, but on his terms, and at either 165 or 170 pounds.
Diaz told ESPN that he realizes why he is being called out by the top fighters in the lightweight division, but because he feels he hasn’t lost like the other fighters have and he’s only focused on those that have been winning, like Oliveira and Poirier.
The two names at the top of @NateDiaz209's list are Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 9, 2021
“I haven’t lost a fight like these other guys, the whole lightweight division has been taken out, every single one of them. Except for what’s his name that just beat Ferguson [Oliveira]. That’s the guy right there, I’ll fight that guy. I like the winners cause I’m a winner. The few guys I lost to, that they say finished me off, first of all I never got finished off like everybody else. KO’d, knocked on they ass, sleeping, unconcisous, choked out, none of that’s happened to me. I’m trying to fight the guys who are winning.”
When asked about the weight difference between himself and Oliveira, Diaz said the fight would have to happen at a higher weight class.
“I’m not going to fight at 155. I would fight the guys at 170 too but there’s no one at 170, when those guys grow up, I’ll fight someone at 170. 155 has some guys in there but I like the Oliveira fight or the Dustin Poirier fight probably.”
Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier have long been after each other since their first canceled bout at UFC 230 in 2018, and as recently as last week, they both called for a fight against each other. Poirier’s star has continued to rise after his impressive second-round TKO victory over Conor McGregor, and he could now face Diaz, who also has a win over the Irish superstar.
As for Diaz’s call out of Oliveira, who is a surging contender in the lightweight division who many are aguing should be in line for the next title fight if the championship is vacated, his coach doesn’t see any reason to move up in weight and fight Nate Diaz. Oliveira has compiled an eight-fight winning streak with his most recent win coming against Tony Ferguson at UFC 256. If the lightweight title is vacated by champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, there have been calls for a Dustin Poirier and Oliveira title fight.
While he’s been away for over a year, Nate Diaz is still a popular guy for opposing fighters as he’s regularly called out in post-fight interviews. He told ESPN he’d like to fight twice in 2021, and with his last four fights happening at welterweight, it appears that’s where he wants to remain, he just wants some of the biggest winners in the sport.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310