Nate Diaz makes his long-awaited return when he steps into the cage with Leon Edwards this Saturday night at UFC 263.
Edwards vs. Diaz is a special five-round fight despite not being a title fight or main event fight — the first of its kind of in the UFC. The UFC is rolling out the red carpet for one of its biggest stars, welcoming him with an opportunity against #3 ranked welterweight contender Leon Edwards. The winner of this one — whether Edwards or Diaz — will likely immediately enter title contender status following the expected Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington fight happening later this year.
This Saturday’s UFC 263 fight card is a pay-per-view event exclusive to the ESPN+ digital streaming platform.
Diaz’s return fight against Edwards one was completely unexpected considering that Diaz has been away from competition since losing to Jorge Masvidal in 2019. Diaz is currently unranked and will skip the line of contenders at 170-pounds to fight Edwards this Saturday night. Edwards himself is already within range of that elusive title shot following his impressive eight-fight win streak.
But, as fans have learned over the years, it’s not so much about when the UFC wants the Diaz brothers to compete, it’s more about when Nick or Nate want to return to the cage and fight again. In a recent interview with ESPN, Nate Diaz explained why he’s returning now for this fight against Edwards.
“I was waiting for the whole world to speed back up,” Diaz said on SportsCenter.
“I wasn’t really waiting… I was just trying to get on a good card when everything was happening again with full crowds. It was time to go and he’s [Edwards] 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 shit.”
It’s no simple task for Diaz at UFC 263, however, as bookmakers have him listed as a +325 underdog against Edwards for this five-round fight.
And it’s not just the bookmakers who have Edwards as the favorite to win this fight. The vast majority of other UFC fighters and experts are picking Edwards to win at UFC 263.
Diaz was asked what he thought about other fighters picking against him this Saturday night.
“Well, that’s been my whole career — shit like that,” Diaz said. “And to any of the fighters out there who are saying shit about me, if it’s not positive then shut the fuck up and fuck you. That’s what I think about you.”
“That’s how my whole career has gone and been. If you have got nothing nice to say then don’t say it at all, because that’s how I work anyway. If I ain’t got nothing nice to say in my predictions then I keep all that to myself. All those guys who are saying about me losing, they’re not shit themselves.”
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.