It looks like Nate Diaz is back.
A report from the Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire says that Diaz will face off against Dustin Poirier in the UFC 230 co-main event on November 3rd at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
An official press conference highlighting the UFC’s end-of-year schedule is slated for Friday in Los Angeles, and that fight is expected to be among those formally announced.
Diaz (19-11) has not competed inside the Octagon since losing a thrilling majority decision to Conor McGregor at UFC 202. The former UFC lightweight title challenger submitted McGregor on short notice at UFC 196, with both fights in their epic rivalry taking place at welterweight. Diaz had indicated that he was ready to return to action in May or June, but obviously that never materialized. Talks of him taking on Georges St-Pierre at UFC 227 also fizzled. This will be Diaz’s first lightweight fight since beating Michael Johnson in December 2015. Coincidentally, Johnson is the last opponent to defeat Poirier.
Poirier (24-5, 1 NC) is just days removed from his second-round TKO vs. Eddie Alvarez in their UFC Calgary main event. “The Diamond” has won three straight and is unbeaten in his last five, putting himself in prime position for a title shot. Poirier recently told MMAjunkie that he wasn’t going to answer the phone unless a title fight was involved, or if the opponent and money involved was right. This clearly isn’t a title bout, but it seems as if the UFC has unlocked that combination of opponent and pay for Poirier to accept this matchup.
UFC 230 does not have a main event yet, but it will include a middleweight rematch between former champs Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman, as well as middleweight contenders Derek Brunson and Israel Adesanya.