Dana White hopeful of a Nate Diaz return in 2021 but UFC supremo warns he is ‘not counting on’ fan-favourite to set foot in the octagon this year
- Dana White hopes to see fan-favourite Nate Diaz return to the UFC in 2021
- The 35-year-old has not competed since losing to Jorge Masvidal in 2019
- White says he would like The Stockton Slugger to make a return this year
- However, the UFC supremo is ‘not counting on’ booking the fighter
Dana White hopes to see Nate Diaz return to the octagon in 2021 but the UFC chief stressed caution regarding the fan favourite’s availability.
The 35-year-old had a quiet 2020, going the whole year without a fight. The Stockton native has not competed since losing to Jorge Masvidal in their mammoth BMF clash at Madison Square Garden in November 2019.
Diaz has been unusually quiet about his UFC plans in recent months, and White has admitted he does not yet have any immediate plans for the former title challenger, but hopes he will come back this year.
Dana White hopes to see fan-favourite Nate Diaz make a return to the UFC this year
The 35-year-old has not fought since losing to Jorge Masvidal in New York in November 2019
‘I hope (he fights this year),’ White said in an ESPN+ Q&A. ‘I hope so. I’d like to see him fight. I’m not counting on it, but I’d like to see him fight.’
There had been speculation that Diaz would return to face Masvidal in a highly-anticipated rematch.
The first bout was stopped by doctors owing to a nasty cut obtained by Diaz, with fans adamant that the Stockton Slugger would have clawed his way back into the contest.
However, UFC chief White added that he is ‘not counting on’ Diaz returning to the octagon
However, the UFC appear to have moved away from that fight, while White defused any talk of a trilogy bout against Conor McGregor, who takes on Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Fight Island.
‘Probably not,’ the UFC supremo said when asked about McGregor v Dias III.
White also poured cold water on a proposed UFC return for Nick Diaz, elder brother of Nate. The 37-year-old has been preparing himself for a comeback having released footage of himself training.
White also poured cold water on the possibility of a trilogy bout against Conor McGregor
However, White does not believe the elder Diaz is ready for a return to the sport.
‘Everything that I see from Nick Diaz doesn’t look like Nick Diaz wants to or is ready to compete in this sport,’ White said in an interview with ‘The Schmo.’
‘Nick Diaz has been in a lot of wars. He’s accomplished a lot of great things in his career. He’s made a lot of money.
‘He’s obviously super-famous. He’s gotten everything you could hope to get out of fighting. I just don’t know why, when I see his Instagram, why he would want to come back.’
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