It was a rough Saturday for Nate Diaz. The Stockton, Calif., native lost by majority decision to his year-long foe Conor McGregor and thought he won the bout immediately after it finished. However, it was pretty clear that Diaz was dominated by McGregor’s kicks and combination punches.
Now, the younger Diaz brother has to regroup and start planning for his future. Diaz made more money at UFC 202 than he had in all his previous fights combined, meaning that he needs to strike while the iron is hot.
Diaz said after the fight that he “ain’t doing [expletive] until the third fight,” but he may have to wait up to a year for that to happen.
Here are five opponents Diaz could take in the near future and make some money.
Donald Cerrone — These two have already met once before, in 2011, and produced the fight of the night at UFC 141. Now, Cerrone is coming off a beautiful TKO victory at UFC 202 and looking for another opponent. Cerrone may be looking to get a title shot in the welterweight division soon, but there appears to be quite a line for a shot at Tyron Woodley. These two could square off at either welterweight or lightweight and headline a pay-per-view in the meantime.
Kelvin Gastelum — One of the fast rising stars in the welterweight division is looking for another opponent after winning at UFC 200. He is currently ranked at No. 5 in the welterweight division despite two losses in his last five fights. Although he’s close to another title fight, he lost to Woodley by split decision in January 2015.
These two would go in and just brawl for 15 minutes and the fans would love every minute of it.
Khabib Nurmagomedov — The Russian is still begging UFC for his title shot, but some are questioning if that is going to happen. President Dana White said they were targeting a fight for him in Russia soon, but a bout with The Eagle could very quickly move Diaz into contention for a title shot. Nurmagomedov is undefeated in his MMA career (23-0) and coming off of a second-round TKO victory in April.
Eddie Alvarez — Now, this would certainly shake things up. Diaz has never gotten a title shot in his 30-plus MMA fights, but he has certainly proven he can hang with anyone. Alvarez, fresh off his victory over Rafael dos Anjos to claim the lightweight crown, is still yet to settle on his next opponent.
Diaz would have a significant reach advantage, but this fight could be very similar to that of McGregor-Diaz.
Nick Diaz — Now, hear me out. I know this isn’t going to happen, but could you imagine having both of the Diaz brothers selling a fight? Nick, fresh off of his USADA suspension, is looking for his first fight back in the octagon and a big payday. Both brothers have made it clear they want to money fights and what better way to make some cash for both them and the UFC than fighting each other.
They would look almost identical in the octagon and implement similar skill sets, but we know but would brawl, cuss and flip each other off — the things we’ve loved from the first two installments of McGregor-Diaz.
Make it happen.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / UFC 202: Five fights for Nate Diaz to take after loss to Conor McGregor