Nearly one year ago, Nate Diaz had worked his way to a UFC lightweight title bout against then champion Benson Henderson. Since losing a decision to "Bendo," however, a lot has changed for Diaz and the division.
Diaz lost his following fight by KO to Josh Thomson and Henderson would go on to lose his belt to Anthony Pettis. Still, ahead of his TUF 18 main event rubber match against Gray Maynard, Diaz is confident that he'll be fighting for a championship again soon.
"This is survival of the fittest," Diaz recently said during an UFC interview.
"I beat [Maynard], I'm going to hunt down Pettis and Thomson's ass and take them out. I'll be back fighting for a title real quick."
Diaz first faced Maynard in an exhibition bout on season 5 of The Ultimate Fighter, choking him into submission with a guillotine choke. The two faced one another again 2010 and Maynard won a close decision that Diaz still disputes.
"I'm going to beat Gray Maynard. It's the third time fighting him. Finish it off and seal the deal. I won the first one. I think I won the second fight, too. You can ask him how he won the fight. I'll bet you he don't got too good of an answer," the Stockton, CA native says.
Diaz isn't discounting the danger Maynard poses in their third fight this Saturday in Las Vegas. He simply believes that he'll be able to bully "The Bully" and close this chapter in his career.
"I've gotten better and I think he's gotten better, too. He wrestles good and he hits hard. He's a good athlete. It's nothing I haven't dealt with before," Diaz says.
"I'm going to be in his face. I'm going to let him know that I'm there to win."
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