Jujitsu-schooled, boxing-trained Nate Diaz will return to the UFC octagon after more than a two-year absence on November 3rd at Madison Square Garden for an expected firefight of a stand-up bout against destructive puncher Dustin Poirier, the Los Angeles Times uncovered Thursday.
33-year-old Diaz (20-11) has competed in the main event of two of the most lucrative UFC pay-per-view cards in history, first by taking a March 2016 fight against Conor McGregor on less than two weeks’ notice to submit him in the second round.
Subsequent to Diaz and his fighter brother, Nick battling McGregor in a bottle-and-can throwing exchange during a pre-fight news conference, he succumbed to McGregor by decision in one of the most overwhelming matches in UFC records.
Notably, Diaz opted to remain sidelined until another fight capable of generating a massive revenue developed.
He refused to participate in Saturday’s UFC 227 at Staples Center against former two-division champion Georges St-Pierre, with a representative saying Diaz felt that St-Pierre was his brother’s rival.
Unfortunately, St-Pierre fell ill.
“Diaz returns on the third version of an MSG November card that has also performed well in pay-per-view sales dating to McGregor’s 2016 knockout of Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight belt and last year’s show headlined by St-Pierre’s comeback and stoppage of then-middleweight champion Michael Bisping,” MMA reporter Nick Ferros reports.
Louisiana’s Poirier (24-5) has risen to No. 3 in the UFC lightweight rankings by winning eight of his last 10 bouts. One was a no-contest last year that Poirier answered Saturday by knocking out Alvarez in the second round of the UFC Fight Night event in Calgary.
Poirier has won three fight-of-the-night bonuses and a performance-of-the-night bonus in his last four fights, which have included knockouts of hyped prospect Justin Gaethje and former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.