With a handful of other potential opponents to face, Nate Diaz has revealed why he chose to fight top welterweight contender Leon Edwards at UFC 263 this weekend.
Diaz (20-12) will return to the Octagon for the first time in over 18-months to face Edwards. The fan favorite last fought at UFC 244 in November 2019, when he lost out on the symbolic ‘BMF’ title to Jorge Masvidal.
Talking recently to ESPN, Diaz reveealed it wasn’t Edwards that enticed him to fight again but instead the return of fans which has led to bigger events being held.
“I was waiting for this whole world to speed back up,” Diaz said (h/t MMA Fighting). “I wasn’t really waiting, I was just trying to get on a good card where everything was happening again, where there’s full crowds, and it was time to go and he’s the one who is winning and doing a good job. He’s got an impressive little record and career going on so let’s take that s—.”
For Edwards a win against Diaz isn’t enough, the Brit feels he has to finish the Stockton native to really make a statement at UFC 263. Diaz comes into the seemingly high risk, low reward fight with Edwards as a big underdog, something he isn’t surprised about.
“That’s been my whole career is s— like that,” Diaz said. “If any of the fighters, to all the fighters out there saying anything about me, if it’s not positive as a motherf—er, then shut the f—up and f— you. That’s what I think about you.
“If you ain’t got nothing nice to say, don’t say at all because that’s how I work, anyway. I don’t got nothing nice to say, I keep my predictions and all that s— to myself because all those guys that are saying about me losing, they’re not s— themselves.”
UFC 263 takes place this Saturday, June 12th, at the Gila River Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. A middleweight title fight between current champion Israel Adesanya and top contender Marvin Vettori will headline the card.