With the news recently confirmed that Nate Diaz was offered a fight against Eddie Alvarez, we take a look at five reasons why the Stockton man must take the bout.
Over the weekend, rumours began to circulate claiming that Nate Diaz would finally be making his return to the Octagon at UFC 211. Shortly thereafter, UFC President Dana White confirmed that he had offered the Stockton man a fight and that he was waiting to hear back from him.
“We just offered Nate Diaz a fight, and we’re waiting to hear back from him, so we’ll see.”
“These guys say they want a fight – I offered Nick Diaz two fights. He turned down two fights. I offered him Robbie Lawler. Robbie Lawler accepted the fight. Then I offered him Demian Maia. Nick Diaz turned down two fights. And then we just offered Nate a fight.”
“The most difficult to get into the octagon? Right now, it’s the Diaz brothers – right here, right now,” White said. “But throughout history? I don’t know.”
Nate wasn’t long in cutting down the building anticipation however, as he essentially dismissed White’s offer via his official Twitter account.
Lol at your fight…
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) February 4, 2017
Although Dana himself did not announce the identity of the opponent that Nate had been offered, the ever reliable Ariel Helwani later confirmed that it was indeed Eddie Alvarez.
Now, with the younger Diaz brother evidently turning down what would be a hugely intriguing contest, we outline five reasons why he has to book the fight.
1. Nate’s in danger of making his entire career about Conor McGregor
Having engaged in two epic brawls with Conor McGregor at UFC 196 and UFC 202, Nate Diaz is now a superstar in his own right and, he has stated as much on several occasions. However, he has also seemingly decided that the only fight he is interested in is a trilogy bout with the SBG man.
When Conor McGregor obtained his boxing licence, so too did Nate Diaz. When Conor McGregor announced he was retiring, so too did Nate Diaz. When Conor McGregor said he was taking a career break… well, you get the picture.
Now is the time for Nate to make his career about Nate. Forget Conor McGregor. If he goes out and beats Alvarez, he will have a legitimate case for a shot at the winner of the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson bout. Should he beat either of them, Conor McGregor may well want the trilogy bout as much as he does.
If he decides to wait…
2. Nate may well be waiting for a McGregor bout that will never happen
Despite the fact that everybody on the UFC roster seemingly wants a shot at Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz is the only one who has managed to do it twice. Perhaps he should just leave it at that.
Although the ‘Notorious’ has stated on multiple occasions that the trilogy will eventually happen, after their epic brawl at UFC 202, Dana White stated that he would never book the fight again.
“The problem with the rubber match is Diaz is a 170 pounder,” White said. “He’s a massive guy. Conor is a very talented guy, he’s very, very good. Every time he goes out there he looks better… [But] we should have never done it in the first place. That’s what weight classes are for. They wanted to do it, we did it. They wanted to do it again, we did it again. They’re 1-1.
“There’s only so many of those wars you can be in in your career. It takes a lot out of you. Some guys go into wars like that and they’re never the same after it… I believe that Rory MacDonald was never the same after the Robbie Lawler fight. That fight ruined him. I don’t want to do that to someone special like Conor McGregor. It’s just not right.”
Conor McGregor recently made it absolutely clear that there is nothing on his mind at present but a bout with Floyd Mayweather. Speaking about a timeline, the Irishman stated that he could see the boxing bout taking place early next year. If it actually goes ahead, how long will Diaz be left waiting? If it doesn’t, why would Nate be under the impression that Conor will fight him next?
3. Nate once accused Eddie of hiding from him
After Eddie Alvarez secured a decision victory against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 188, Nate Diaz protested the judges’ score cards, called the Philly fighter ‘a little b*tch’ and challenged him to a fight.
“But that little b*tch said he wanted to see me next too, so what’s up then? Now he’s gonna run off and hide.”
4. Nate has a massive point to prove to Eddie Alvarez
In the build up to UFC 205, Eddie Alvarez fired multiple pops at Nate Diaz as he claimed that the Stockton man was a nothing fighter who had been beaten by ‘everybody in the lightweight division’.
“The guys he’s picked to fight; these are subpar guys,” Alvarez said. “Even Nate (Diaz) is a .500 lightweight and everybody in the lightweight division has beat Nate and he [McGregor] had trouble doing that. The guys that he’s faced are nothing of the caliber of fighter that I am.”
Given Nate’s reputation for stepping up, and having accused Alvarez of hiding from him not so long ago, it would seem bizarre if he was now the one to turn his back on the fight. Especially when one considers…
5. It looks as if Alvarez has accepted the bout
With Dana White stating that he’d offered Nate a fight and Helwani confirming that the opponent in question was Alvarez, Eddie himself posted the following.
Although this isn’t exactly concrete evidence that Alvarez has signed a contract to fight Nate Diaz, given everything else we know, it certainly seems to be the most likely scenario. So, who’s hiding now?
Although anyone could now sell a serious amount of pay-per-views fighting on the same card as Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz managed to do bigger numbers with the Irishman than anyone else. What’s more, he managed to do it in bouts that were essentially irrelevant.
No titles were on the line at UFC 196 or UFC 202. No number one contender spots were up for grabs. In fact, the two contestants were duking it out in a division that neither of them normally inhabit. So why did so many people tune in?
In fighting Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title at UFC 205, Conor McGregor was fighting for a belt. In fighting Nate Diaz, the Irishman was fighting another star. The match up wasn’t just intriguing because it was a McGregor fight, it was intriguing because it was a McGregor and Nate Diaz fight.
Once Nate realizes this point, perhaps he can leave the Irishman behind, and go on with creating his own legacy. Eddie Alvarez should be first on his list.