The last time Nate Diaz stepped inside the Octagon as a lightweight was in December 2015, when he handily defeated Michael Johnson. Since then, the Stockton, California native has only fought twice in the last three years, both at welterweight against Conor McGregor in 2016.
Diaz is now scheduled for another welterweight bout, this time against former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 241. And as he moves forward with his career, the 34-year-old fighter says he is no longer interested in going back to his first weight class.
“I’m just done with the 155 thing. That’s in the past now,” Diaz said Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “I think it’s time to start fighting at a more comfortable weight class. There’s nothing for me there, I already did everything, beat everybody.
“I feel like I’m the king of that division, anyway. I mean, I am the king of that division, so I’m just gonna leave it where it’s at. There’s no love for me over there.”
Diaz’s self-proclamation as the king of the division was met with the question of where that puts current champion and undefeated fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. For this, Diaz also has a response.
“Khabib, I already slapped him in his face, I already told you guys that. And I beat Conor before him, quicker than him, easier than him,” Diaz said.
“He’s a little big-headed right now. I don’t need to fight him anyway because I already got a victory over him,” he continued. “So he’s just gonna hide out and play champ and act like a good guy and f—ng Mr. F—ng Humble F—ng Khabib. I’m not buying that sh-t.
A veteran of 15 years with more than a decade spent in the UFC, Diaz says he is no longer going after opportunities.
“I don’t need to sit around here and f—ng chase nobody,” he said. “If anybody needs to do any chasing, they gotta come this way. So I’m gonna retire that vision as champ.
“I slapped both Conor and Khabib so how did that make anybody a winner?”
As for slapping Khabib, Diaz recalled the incident that took place at the World Series of Fighting event in 2015, while also stating he had a good reason for doing so.
“The reason why he got slapped was because he was not humble and not this nice guy,” Diaz said of the Dagestani fighter. “He was sitting there with his friends, trying to get a fight with me, taking a picture of me, making fun of me.
“And so I capitalized and told him ‘F—k you!’ and I slapped him in his face and he was spooked for his life.”
Diaz also claimed it was Dustin Poirier who “pussed out” of their scheduled fight at UFC 230 last November.
UFC 241 takes place on August 18th at the Honda Center in Anaheim. It will be headlined by a heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic.