It has now been confirmed that Nate Diaz (20-11-0), after two years out of MMA competition, returns this year at UFC 230 to fight against Dustin “The Diamond” Poirer (24–5–0, 1 NC) at the prestigious Madison Square Garden Arena, New York.
Earlier this week, Dana White dropped the bomb that George St. Pierre vs. Nate Diaz is in the works for August 4th. Via Twitter, Nate has decided to add an extra snap, crackle and pop to procedings and give his side of thought about White’s declaration.
He started the verbal punches by claiming St. Pierre was on steroids during the 2013 bout with brother Nick (where GSP defended his at the time untouchable welterweight championship) with a lop-sided unanimous decision win over the eldest Diaz brother.
A fight between GSP and Nate would argueably be the biggest fight of the UFC year so far, and judging by the first comments from Nate, you can already sense the fire that the press conferences will throw up. The Stockton mentality is something that has been greatly missed in MMA, and Nate has brought it back with a bang in his first public comment.
GSP would be making his lightweight debut, and Diaz would definetly be far from a walk in the park. If the rumoured fight comes to fruition, it seems George may be planning to solidify his name as the “GOAT” by being the first man to win 3 belts in UFC history with the move down to lightweight. If Nate is able to get under the skin of a depleted GSP, this may not be as much of a one sided fight as people think.
One thing is guaranteed, the coming weeks are going to be interesting, and without a doubt entertaining. Let us all hope that the MMA stars align and we see this come together.
With alot of talk happening of GSP vs Diaz, its clear too see what game the UFC are playing. With the fight happening at lightweight, they are obviously trying to line up a super fight between McGregor and Rush.
In my opinion, that is only one facet of the plan. With a fight of this magnitude, they need to hold the fight in one of the most famous sporting arenas in the world. The MGM grand or Madison Square Garden may be the choice of many a fight fan, but this arena is grander again.
The arena in question goes by the name of Croke Park.
‘Croker’ may not be well known to many off the shores of the emerald isle, but ask any Irish man, woman or child and they will tell you about the folklore and legends that have been created on the hollowed turf.
Ireland’s finest sporting moments have been seen here, and what finer sporting moment would there be than the fighting pride of Dublin taking on arguably one of the biggest names in combat sports history.
In terms of PPV numbers, GSP vs Mcgregor will be the biggest event ever, a possible 2 million plus buys could be expected for this. The capacity, if this event does happen, will be in excess of 90,000. And with it being held in Conor’s back yard, you can bet your house that the arena will be brimmed. We are quite simply looking at something that could well be the biggest event in sporting history, never mind MMA.
Dana White has teased Croke Park in the past but has never followed through on his word. Possibly because no fight has deserved the right to be held in Croke Park. Not that I am knocking any fighter Mcgregor has fought, but the last fight to be held in “Croker” was a Muhammed Ali fight, so the fight that happens has to be the stuff of absolute legend.
I recently attended Croke Park for a GAA match, and with an attendance of 9000 or so the atmosphere was still electric. I found myself that if McGregor did fight here, there would be an atmosphere that the world would never have seen before, and probably will never see again.
Croke Park is the perfect Arena to house GSP vs McGregor, its just a question of whether everything will fall into place now.
The rocky road to Dublin begins with GSP vs Diaz…
Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast with Jim Norton and Matt Serra, UFC President Dana White confirmed that he is working toward matching Nate Diaz (20-11) and the former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion, Georges “Rush” St-Pierre(26-2). The fight is intended to serve as the co-main event for UFC 227.
At the 1:10:00-1:10:57 of the podcast, Dana goes into the topic of Stockton native where he confirms that his intention is for Diaz to fight St-Pierre at UFC 227 in the lightweight division.
St-Pierre was the most dominant welterweight champion in UFC history. After vacating the title and stepping away from the sport, the Canadian returned in dramatic fashion last year, capturing the UFC middleweight title from then champion Michael Bisping at UFC 217. Should the bout with Diaz materialize, it would be yet another new direction for GSP with him dropping to 155lbs for the first time in his storied career.
Diaz however, is a natural lightweight, spending much of his career in the division prior to embarking on a pair of welterweight scraps with Conor McGregor. While the Stockton native does have a history of fighting at lightweight, he would be facing the not insignificant challenge of handing St-Pierre his first loss since his stunning loss to Matt Sera more than ten years ago at UFC 69.
Since his pair of fights with McGregor in 2016, Diaz has remained on the sidelines, insisting that he will only get back into the octagon for a big money fight. Sitting at number eight in the UFC lightweight rankings it is unlikely that he would jump the lengthy queue to fight reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. With a trilogy bout against longtime foe McGregor not seeming likely in the near future, there are very few options available for Diaz. A fight with the man many consider to be the greatest of all time appears to tick all the necessary boxes to get the brash talking fan favourite back into the octagon.
One of the sports biggest personalities and polarizing figures may be in line for a highly anticipated return to action this summer, as Stockton son Nate Diaz is reportedly in talks with the Ultimate Fighting Championship regarding a lightweight Octagon walk, after over 18 months away from the sport.
Diaz of course last featured in August 2016, losing a close majority decision to fierce foe Conor McGregor in their five round UFC 202 headliner. Cesar Gracie trainee Diaz was briefly speculated with a siege of welterweight best Tyron Woodley’s title, a bout which ultimately failed to come to fruition late last year. Talks are not believed to be finalized as of yet, but a rumored match up between Eddie Alvarez or Dustin Poirier is on the horizon.
A hugely talented Jiu-Jitsu player, particularly off his back, Nate also represents a tough puzzle on the feet. A stiff boxing typical Southpaw stance allows the younger Diaz brother to maintain range and setup slick one-twos with stinging effect. The Ultimate Fighter victor holds impressive names in his win column, picking up decision wins over UFC stalwart Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, and featherweight striker Michael Johnson, along with submission victories over Jim Miller, PRIDE lightweight best Takanori Gomi, a memorable triangle win over Kurt Pellegrino, Manny Gamburyan and Melvin Guillard.
Undeniably, Nate’s rise to his current stardom was propelled no end by not only his short notice replacing of Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 against then featherweight champion Conor McGregor, but his survival of a one sided first round to find his range after the first buzzer, hurting Conor on the feet, forcing ‘The Notorious’ into a frail double leg. Diaz subsequently sprawled, searched for a guillotine before McGregor gave up mount. Posturing up, Nate landed big from the top, with Conor eventually rolling to his back giving up his neck to a vice like rear-naked choke.
Inflicting McGregor’s premier UFC defeat to date, Nate accepted a rematch, again at welterweight, and after a failed pairing at UFC 200, both men finally clashed at UFC 202. Implementing a less shot heavy and more volume conservative display, McGregor landed an early first round knockdown, followed by two quickfire left hands in the second to force Nate to the canvas for a third time. Nate recovered as so often with both himself and Nick, to pressure Conor for two, arguably three rounds, before the judges awarded the Dubliner a majority decision victory, with a rubber match now on the cards.
The rumored August return could come at UFC 227, with a bantamweight rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and former Team Alpha Male teammate Cody Garbrandt serving as the main event. Older brother Nick Diaz has also been linked with a huge octagon return after a USADA whereabouts violation was recently cleared up by Jeff Novitsky. It is unclear as of yet if both Diaz brothers will compete on the same card, but with the UFC’s TV deal up for grabs, a Diaz double header would boost ranking considerably.