Thursday, June 17, 2021

Dana White: Nate Diaz In UFC Title Contention If He Beats Leon Edwards

UFC President Dana White says Nate Diaz can close in on UFC title contention with a win over Leon Edwards.

This Saturday night (June 12), UFC 263 will emanate from the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. In the main event, UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya will put his gold on the line against Marvin Vettori in a rematch. The co-main event will see a UFC flyweight title rematch between champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.

Also featured on the main card will be a five-round welterweight collision. Diaz will go one-on-one with Edwards. Going into this bout, Edwards is the number three-ranked UFC welterweight. Diaz hasn’t been in action since November 2019.

Speaking to TMZ Sports, White shared his belief that Edwards won’t try to wrestle with Diaz for five rounds.

“I think we get the same Nate Diaz every time he shows up. He comes in and fights his ass off. Stylistically, this is a good fight because Leon Edwards is gonna stand and trade with him. There shouldn’t be too much wrestling going on unless Diaz is going for a submission or something. This should be a fun fight.”

In terms of how this fight plays into the welterweight title picture, White says it can be a massive step for Diaz.

“I don’t know. It’s a possibility. There’s so many things that factor into the (title picture). The reality is, right now, Colby Covington is next in line. Colby Covington’s the #1 contender in the world. The first fight with him and Usman is insane, one of the best fights I’ve ever seen. So, yeah, it’d be tough.

“Nate falls out of the rankings because he takes so long to fight. He should be ranked right now. I don’t know where, but he should be ranked in the division. And obviously, a win over Leon Edwards puts him in the top 5 and puts him in title contention.”

White’s comments appear to go against a recent claim made by Colby Covington. During an interview with The Schmo, Covington insisted that he signed a contract guaranteeing him a title fight with or without Usman.

There’s no need to panic for Covington and his fans, though. In a separate interview this week with Submission Radio, White stated that the winner of Diaz/Edwards would likely be next in line for the welterweight title shot after Covington has had his shot.