After nearly two years away from the Octagon, Nate Diaz appears to be headed back to the UFC. But it’s not for a trilogy fight with Conor McGregor. Instead, he’ll likely face a familiar family foe in Georges St-Pierre.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast that the promotion was hard at work looking to lock in St-Pierre vs. Diaz for UFC 227 on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles. Diaz has been out of action since dropping a narrow decision to Conor McGregor at UFC 202, which had the biggest buy rate in UFC history at 1.65 million. The McGregor victory evened up the series at one fight each. Many expected that Diaz would only return for a third fight with McGregor and White suggested that Diaz had turned down multiple opponents over the past year. However, the name GSP is certainly one that would bring the Stockton, California, fighter back to action.
St-Pierre and Nate’s older brother Nick engaged in a heated war of words prior to their fight at UFC 158 back in 2013. St-Pierre won a unanimous decision but tension remained between the two sides. St-Pierre ended a four year hiatus by beating Michael Bisping at UFC 217 last November to become the UFC middleweight champion. Instead of defending the title, the French-Canadian decided to vacate the title due to complications from colitis. He hasn’t fought since.
A GSP fight would be a great consolation prize for Diaz, who is likely still aiming for a third fight with McGregor down the road. With McGregor’s future up in the air, however, there’s no timetable on when that fight could happen. Instead, Diaz would return to the welterweight division where he could look to avenge his brother’s loss to a fighter that many regard as the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time.
If the GSP-Diaz fight gets made, it would add to what appears to be a very loaded UFC 227 card that is aiming to also feature a rematch between UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt as well as a showdown between Luke Rockhold and Alexander Gustafsson.
“In my perfect world, if everything goes perfect, which nothing goes [expletive] perfect in this world: Dillashaw versus Garbrandt, GSP versus Diaz would be the co-main, Gustafsson versus Rockhold and Derek Brunson versus Antonio Carlos Junior,” White said.
Neither side has committed yet, but White is doing everything he can to get the fight made and bring two of the biggest attractions back into the Octagon.
“We’ve been offering Nate Diaz fights for however long,” White said. “In his contract, and Nick Diaz, I have to give them three fights a year. Per the contract, I need to give them three fights a year. If I fail to give them three fights a year then I have to pay them. I have honored my contract with those guys. They turn down the fights, and it extends their contracts. But we are working right now to try to put together a Georges St-Pierre versus Nate Diaz fight.”
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