Nate Diaz (20-10) stunned the MMA oddsmakers on Saturday night by defeating Conor McGregor (19-3) by submission in the 2nd round. Diaz has gotten all the eyes of the MMA world watching him now after defeating the biggest draw in the UFC. McGregor says he will be moving down back to 145 pounds to defend his belt.
But what is next for the Stockton product? Diaz has a lot of options now and here are three fights that make sense for him after winning the biggest fight of his career.
Rafael Dos Anjos (24-7): Conor McGregor has indicated that he will be defending his featherweight belt next instead of having the chance to fight Rafael Dos Anjos. This leaves RDA without a potential fighter to face in the foreseeable future. Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are scheduled to fight each other in mid-April so you have two top contenders already booked for a fight.
Some might say a fight with #1 ranked Eddie Alvarez makes the most sense for RDA’s title defense, an RDA vs. Diaz rematch makes the most sense from a business perspective. Although Dos Anjos definitively beat Diaz in 2014, the younger Diaz has an incredibly impressive two-fight win streak over Michael Johnson and Conor McGregor. He has improved tremendously since his bout with RDA, utilizing his reach and embracing his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu more. Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Nate Diaz 2 could be a good candidate for UFC 200.
Carlos Condit (30-8): Carlos Condit is coming off of a title loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 195 in which many considered as a “fight of the year” candidate. Some thought that he won the fight as Condit threw 176 significant strikes compared to Lawler’s 92 significant strikes. The 31 year-old has indicated that he may retire after his title bout loss. There are numerous qualified candidates to fight Lawler for the belt (Woodley, Thompson, MacDonald), a fight that could make sense for Condit would be a fight with Nate Diaz.
“The Natural Born Killer” has already fought his older brother Nick Diaz, so it would be a perfect billing on his resume to be able to say he shared the Octagon with both of the Diaz brothers. Like Condit, Diaz has exceptional standup skills and both competitors are extremely dangerous off of their backs.
Robbie Lawler (26-10): Nate Diaz collected a win in the Welterweight division on Saturday. This should not be ignored. Robbie Lawler is in a division with multiple contenders vying for a shot at the title. Why not give Nate Diaz a shot at the belt? Dana White has already flirted with the idea of giving Diaz a crack at the 170-pound belt.
Also, Lawler has lost to Nick Diaz in the past and would like to avenge that loss. However, with the elder Diaz serving a suspension, a bout with his younger brother could be an alternative. Stylistically too, this could be a back-and-forth slugfest. “Ruthless” loves to engage in the pocket as much as Nate Diaz does. Both have incredible chins and have similar a size and reach.
So fans, what fight do you think makes the most sense for Nate Diaz moving forward?