After sitting out the entire year in 2020, UFC superstar Nate Diaz made his Octagon return at UFC 263 against Leon Edwards. His late fifth-round rally aside, the 36-year-old veteran lost on the scorecards as he picked up the second straight loss on his record.
Edwards vs. Diaz was supposed to take place at UFC 262 in June, but the pairing was subsequently moved after the latter sustained an injury and had to pull out. As he told Joe Rogan during the Octagon interview and to the media in the post-fight presser, the younger Diaz revealed that it was a cut that caused his withdrawal. He also said the postponement affected his preparations.
“I got cut in training, that’s why we had to push the fight back,” Diaz told reporters. “And I kinda lost all motivation to train and work out hard and all that. So I kinda just lingered around for a month, getting ready for war like that.
“At the end of the day, I felt like… he won or whatever, but I feel like I’m the better fighter, still, regardless. I feel like the peak of the fight is what matters in the fight, anyway.
“I just kinda winged it. I was just kinda walking through that fight, trying to get to the next point in this whole game. I didn’t feel like I was ever really in any danger.
“Of course, I got cut and that f—ng sucks. But like I said, I was unmotivated in training and I just trying to not use any energy anywhere. I was just cruise controlling.”
There was a time in his career when Diaz would fight at least thrice in a calendar year. While he can afford to take it easier nowadays, he is looking to get back in the saddle sooner than later.
“I want to fight in three or four months,” he said. “I’m ready to hop back in there. If I was unscathed, I’ll be back next week. I was just unmotivated to train anymore ‘cause I already put in all the hard work for the last fight in Texas where it was supposed to be. And now I had to linger on for another f—ng month.”
Before UFC 263, Diaz’s last fight took place at UFC 244 in 2019, when he fought Jorge Masvidal for the inaugural BMF title. He lost via third-round TKO due to a doctor stoppage.