Nate Diaz closes door on lightweight return

Nate Diaz
Image: @natediaz209 on Instagram (photographer not listed)

At UFC 241, Nate Diaz will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon for a welterweight fight with Anthony Pettis. From the sounds of it, this is the division he plans to call home for the remainder of his career.

Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, Nate Diaz closed the door on a return to the lightweight division. He claimed that, having defeated Conor McGregor in the Octagon and slapped reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov during an infamous altercation outside it, he’s already conquered the weight class.

“There’s nothing for me there. I already did everything, beat everybody. I’m the king of that division.”

If Nate Diaz is truly done with the lightweight division, then his anticipated trilogy fight with his arch rival Conor McGregor will have to occur at welterweight. The pair’s first two bouts went down in the welterweight division, but after winning their second fight, McGregor claimed he wanted their seemingly inevitable tie-breaker to occur at lightweight.

Diaz has competed extensively at welterweight in the past, battling the likes of Marcus Davis, Rory MacDonald, Dong Hyun Kim and McGregor in the division. That being said, he’s undeniably accomplished more as a lightweight, having defeated top flight foes in Josh Neer, Gray Maynard, Donald Cerrone, Takanori Gomi, Jim Miller and Michael Johnson. He even earned himself a lightweight title shot opposite former champ Benson Henderson in 2012, though he lost the fight by decision.

Do you think Nate Diaz is truly done in the lightweight division? How do you think he’ll do in his latest stint at welterweight? Join the conversation in the comments section below.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/3/2019.