Nate Diaz managed to keep his name relevant in the UFC’s lightweight division last night with a first-round TKO victory over Gray Maynard. Since his return to lightweight, Diaz has gone 4-2 with both losses coming at the hands of former UFC champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson, meaning that Diaz is not shunned from another title shot in his career. With that being said, he will need to string together a a few more wins over big named opponents he has any hope of earning another title shot.
Here’s my list of opponents that I would like to see take on Nate Diaz:
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov: Since making his UFC debut in early 2012, the undefeated Russian has looked absolutely dominant. A fight with Diaz would give the UFC a chance to build Nurmagomedov’s contention status and it gives Diaz the opportunity to prove that he still belongs in the upper echelon of the 155-pound division. Plus this fight is almost guaranteed entertainment as Diaz would most certainly have plenty of interesting things to say about Nurmagomedov. Also if you did not see the video last month, Nurmagomedov once wrestled a bear cub when he was a 9-year-old…so there’s that.
2. Rafael dos Anjos: Although he’s riding a five fight winning streak against some decent opponents, his last against Donald Cerrone being his biggest, this does not guarantee a title shot for the BRazilian submission artist. A fight with Diaz with give dos Anjos his sixth straight win in a stacked division and two wins in a row against fighters ranked in the top 10 lightweights in the UFC’s official fighter rankings. For Diaz, the same reasons to take the fight against Nurmagomedov apply.
3. Diego Sanchez: Sanchez had already made it known he wanted the winner between Diaz and Maynard. Personally, this matchup is my favorite option because it would most certainly be a strong contender for Fight of the Night. With Sanchez coming off one greatest fights in UFC history against one of Diaz’s best friends and training partners in Gilbert Melendez, why not see if lightning can strike twice? Out of all the possible opponents for Diaz, a matchup with Sanchez would definitely be the most exciting.
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