From winning the TUF 5 tournament in 2007, to those barnburners against Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis a decade later, Nate Diaz has been a part of countless memorable bouts through the years. His longevity is a real testament to his skills, but as he recently turned 36, Diaz believes he is still getting better.
The Stockton native will be returning at UFC 263 against a top welterweight contender in Leon Edwards. The pair will make history as the UFC’s first five-round bout outside of title bouts and main events, and it’s a stage Diaz plans to use to prove he still beats the “best of the best” across multiple divisions.
“I’ve been fighting for the last 10, 15 years,” Diaz said. “I’ve done it all. I’ve fought all these guys, and done more and done better than anybody. Keeping it real all the way through. I’m like the triathletes, we get better with age. Nobody has stayed on top as long as me, and I’m still headlining shows.
“I’m out there to show people I’ll beat the best of the best. If I’m not going to fight the biggest fight I could possibly find, I’m gonna fight the best fighter that I could possibly find.
“He’s got all the wins. I’ve got a tough task on my hand,” Diaz said, giving Edwards some praise. “I’ll be out there trying to beat him down. I’ve got try to win from everywhere, the best that I can.”
Edwards, who is unbeaten in his last nine fights, wants to use this high-profile match up to finally secure what many believe to be a long overdue title shot.
“This is a great opportunity to fight Nate, but I am leagues above him in technique and skill set. And it’s a five round fight, he has to survive them 25 minutes,” Edwards said. “My mission is to be world champion. A win over Nate Diaz puts me in line for the world title shot.”
“I feel like this is the title,” Diaz responded. “There’s not much you can do more in the game than fight me, as far as I’m concerned.”
Diaz hasn’t fought in about a year and a half, and oddsmakers currently have him as a huge underdog against the number three ranked welterweight in Edwards.