Nate Diaz says he’s fighting for a title after UFC 263 – even ‘if I lose’

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Nate Diaz thinks a title shot is coming his way regardless of the result against Leon Edwards at UFC 263.

Diaz (20-12 MMA, 15-10 UFC), who is one of the biggest names in the fight game, returns to the octagon for the first time since November 2019 on Saturday when he meets Edwards (18-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in a five-round welterweight featured bout of the pay-per-view event at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. Prelims air on ESPN and stream on ESPN+.

Edwards is a top contender at 170 pounds and in the midst of a nine-fight unbeaten streak. Diaz ending his run would be huge credibility to push for a bout with champ Kamaru Usman, but he thinks he’ll be in the mix no matter what.

“I don’t care if I lose, I’m fighting for the title,” Diaz told Rolling Stone. “The plan is win here and then we’ll see who’s next for me.”

Even if Diaz is being unrealistic about fighting for a belt if he doesn’t win, it’s not his intention to put himself in that scenario. He said he picked the fight with Edwards because he likes the work the Brit is doing amidst his current streak, and taking out “Rocky” would do wonders for his already powerful stock.

“He’s the top guy, he’s the guy who has been beating everybody, so why wouldn’t I fight the best guy?” Diaz said. “It’s impressive when somebody can win that many times in a row in the big show.”

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The fight with Edwards will mark another historic moment in Diaz’s career, as it’s scheduled as the first five-round bout in company history that’s neither a title fight nor a main event.

Although it’s not technically the headliner with two other title fights teed up at UFC 263, Diaz said he feels like the spotlight is brightest on him.

“History just happens for me, huh?” Diaz said. “I was just like, ‘I’m trying to fight a main event for five rounds.’ They’re just like, ‘We got a main event with these guys.’ I’m like, ‘Whatever, I’m the main event either way. Let’s do it.”

Diaz said he’s not overthinking the stakes or the circumstances involved with this fight. Winning has a way of solving everything at times, and for someone with Diaz’s credentials, it opens a plethora of options for him.

“It’s good to be in action and be able to handle business like I like to do.” Diaz said. “I’m looking forward to getting the job done. Just get it done, however it’s going to happen it’s going to happen. … He knows how to win and he knows how to get it done, so it’s going to be a serious, but not serious fight. I gotta kill the motherf*cker.”

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