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Nate Diaz next fight: Who is next for Stockton’s bad boy?

Jason Burgos

Many UFC fans have likely been typing Nate Diaz next fight recently in their MMA Google searches, as they wonder when the popular fighter will compete again. With one bout left on his contract, a booking for what could be his final appearance in the Octagon could come any day.

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Who will Nate Diaz’s next fight be against?

nate diaz next fight
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Diaz is one of the biggest names in all of MMA. And he uses that brand recognition to drive a hard bargain for his fights so that he gets big-name opponents and big checks. Whenever the promotion can wrangle him back into the Octagon, the matchups that make the most sense are against Stephen Thompson, Dustin Poirier, and a Conor McGregor trilogy fight.

  • Wonderboy: Thompson is one of the few top-10 fighters with the name value worthy of being matched up with Diaz. He also is one of the few without a fight booked and has a striking style that would make a fight a wild clash of differing standup styles.
  • The Diamond Man: A Diaz vs Poirier fight at welterweight is something both has pushed for since January. Although a booking has yet to come to fruition, all signs, tweets and comments still point to it being the likeliest possibility.
  • The Irishman: If there is one fight that is guaranteed to be a box office sensation, it is McGregor vs Diaz III. With just one fight left on his contract, the UFC would be wise to make that fight happen before Diaz hits the open market for much bigger paydays than he is getting currently from the MMA world leader.

Nate Diaz vs Leon Edwards fight recap

The Stockton bad boy faced top-three welterweight Leon Edwards in June at UFC 263. The fight was a one-sided affair for nearly five full rounds until Nick’s little brother made it really interesting in the last minute.

What happened: Diaz isn’t a welterweight. His best division has always been lightweight, but at 36 he isn’t interested in cutting weight anymore. Normally moving up a weight class would mean being faster than bigger opponents. Unfortunately, he wasn’t faster or stronger than Edwards and was outclassed for much of the bout.

However, in the final minute of the last round, the Stockton bad boy gave his legion of fans something to cheer for when he hurt the Englishman and had him on spaghetti legs. In the end, “Rocky” was able to survive a late onslaught and stay unbeaten for a tenth straight fight.

The fallout: Diaz was a big underdog going into the matchup and looked like one throughout. But, he had 12 losses entering the fight, and defeats have never been anything that’s affected his value. Another one made no difference as long as he fought hard, shed blood, and entertained. He achieved all of that against Edwards.

The roadmap ahead: Like Conor McGregor, he is the type of fighter who can control the narrative and has the sort of fan support to make a loss still seem like a win. Meaning, despite a second straight defeat and losing three of the last four, his brand remains strong and he will land another big-name foe next, as he finishes out his UFC contract and heads into free agency this year.

nate diaz next fight
Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports

The Stockton Bad Boy: Diaz became a star in MMA by following the path that his talented and popular brother Nick established before him. That of being a trash-talking boxer, with unlimited cardio, and durability few others in a cage fight can match.

  • Nate Diaz record: 20-13 (5 knockouts, 11 submissions)
  • Although Diaz is known for his relentless striking style, his bread and butter has always been his black belt in Gracie jiu-jitsu. His grappling has earned him 11 submission wins, including his legendary rear naked choke victory over McGregor in 2016
  • Despite competing in 33 fights and using a high pressure style that relies heavily on his cement chin, Diaz has only been stopped by strikes twice in his career. And one of those was a 2019 doctor stoppage from a bad cut over his eye
  • During his 15-year UFC tenure, the Californian has scored wins over former champions and title contenders like McGregor, Anthony Pettis, Gray Maynard, Donald Cerrone, and Takanori Gomi

The Mumbling Influencer: Diaz ascended to an elite level of popularity when he stunned the world as a short-notice replacement and handed Octagon superstar Conor McGregor his first UFC loss in 2016. Since then, he has become one of the biggest names in the industry.

  • Diaz’s request to make his UFC 263 bout against Edwards a five-round fight was the first time the promotion ever did such a thing outside of a main event matchup
  • His 2019 clash with fellow fan-favorite Jorge Masvidal was for the fictional “baddest mother f*cker” title and even roped in Hollywood megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to present the belt inside Madison Square Garden
  • Diaz is in rarefied air compared to other MMA fighters by having close to 10 million followers accross his social media accounts

Nate Diaz’s net worth

The measure of a fighter’s success is the dollars and cents they stack up from a career of professional fisticuffs. Nate Diaz’s net worth is estimated to be around $10 million.