Nate Diaz is set to make his return to the octagon for the first time since dropping a majority decision loss to Conor McGregor all the way back at UFC 202 in August of 2016. His opponent will be the red-hot Dustin Poirier, who is coming off TKO finishes of Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje and Anthony Pettis over the past 9 months. The fight, which was first reported by Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, will co-main event UFC 230 in New York on November 3rd.
Always a fan favorite amongst the hardcore MMA community, Diaz rose to prominence in 2016 after becoming the first man to defeat Conor McGregor inside of the Octagon. That fight at UFC 196 and the rematch at UFC 202 still sit at the very top of the UFC’s all-time PPV buy list. Now, after over two years away from competition, Diaz either ran out of money or is ready to come back from what was by far the longest break of what will be a 14-year plus MMA career when he takes center stage once again.
For Poirier, a marquee match up against Diaz is exactly what he needs at this stage of his career. Although he may be worthy of a title shot, the UFC is currently targeting Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Conor McGregor for the world title later this year. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, taking on Diaz after finishing two former champs and a major player in Gaethje is anything but a step back. This will get more eyes back on Poirier after what was surprisingly the lowest rated UFC on FOX card in history last weekend against Alvarez. Career defining performance, sure. But nobody was watching.
Two middleweight bouts have also been announced for UFC 230. Former champions, Luke Rockhold and New York native Chris Weidman, will fight in a rematch of their UFC 194 PPV headliner on the PPV portion of the card along with 2-time title challenger Yoel Romero, who will face Brooklyn’s David Branch.
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