With Monday’s article looking at what Conor McGregor might do should he win his match against Nate Diaz, today I’ll look at what the younger Diaz brother might look to do should he go 2-0 against “The Notorious One.”
It seems fairly easy to predict what should happen if Nate Diaz were to lose. I’m sure with a clean, legitimate submission win already in his account against McGregor, he would have to be on the end of a 5 round beat down to not ask for the rubber match in the future.
Both will make a ton of money from UFC 202 and Conor will be under pressure to defend his Featherweight Title. Diaz, however, has no such concerns. He could take a hiatus from the sport, spend some money, and then have a long camp in preparation to see who the better fighter is in the final bout of their trilogy.
While both Nate and Nick Diaz, rightly or wrongly, believing that they are as big of a PPV draw as McGregor, should Nate win, you can expect Dana White to have both his hands full with the Stockton native. Already upset with the promotion after he felt they had not given him the promotional push the way they do to other stars after beating McGregor in the first place, Diaz is out for compliments, paydays, and plaudits.
“I swear to God, the UFC thinks it was an accident or something,” Diaz said. “They think it was an accident, and now they’re saying, ‘Let’s get Nate back in there and take him out before he gets any bigger.’ I don’t think so. I’ve fought everyone in the UFC, and they better give me some motherf–king compliments if I win this fight.”
– Nate Diaz per Brett Okamato ESPN.com
So who could Diaz fight if he wins? A match against his brother is off the table. Nate does not even like to be on the same fight card as anyone who he trains with, and a prolonged stay at 170 lbs. seems unlikely. While he has fought there before, his smaller frame against the likes of Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald who defeated him soundly already will surely force him back down to the Lightweight division.
He could conceivably ask for a title shot immediately against Eddie Alvarez. However, below that, there are few options that seem favorable to him. Not only from a lucrative stand point, but also due to the extreme high level competition at that weight class and most of the division have already got their next fights lined up.
Eddie Alvarez is expected to fight the No. 1 ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov, although no announcement has been made yet. No. 2 Rafael Dos Anjos will fight no. 3 Tony Ferguson after a season on Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3. Below Nate, who is ranked at 4, only a rematch with Donald Cerrone who is currently fighting at Welterweight or Anthony Pettis who has just lost three in a row seem anything like viable options.
If Nate Diaz wants to stay fighting and get a big payday, then he needs to win against McGregor and call out Alvarez, preferably in the cage, in order to jump ahead of Khabib Nurmagomedov. If he pulls off two wins in a row against McGregor, the UFC will have another star on its hands and would be foolish to not insert him into the biggest fights possible, even if that is a little unfair on some of the others. But that has never stopped the UFC in the past and I doubt it will change, even under new ownership.
I previously examined what is next if Conor McGregor wins. Here is a link to that column:
(Chris Hunt of Arundel, England is a new MMATorch contributor. He got hooked on MMA after watching UFC 114 featuring “Rampage” Jackson vs. Rashad Evans and from there, he says, “I spent a ridiculous amount of money and time watching every event from UFC 1 up to the present so I could understand the history of the sport, the fighters, the weight divisions and everything else in between. It was the style of fighting that drew me in, in order to see what martial art was the most effective, and from there, the fighters themselves, their story, their training and the sacrifices that they go through.”)