And anything other than a victory won't be good enough for the Stockton native, who says that once he beats "The Bully" -- which will give him the 2-1 advantage in their trilogy -- he intends to "hunt down" current No. 1 lightweight contender Josh Thomson in an attempt to earn his chance to settle his beef with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 155-pound champion Anthony Pettis.
Nate breaks it down to Yahoo! Sports:
"This is survival of the fittest. I beat [Maynard], I'm going to hunt down Pettis and Thomson's ass and take them out. I'll be back fighting for a title real quick."
Indeed, Nate has built up quite a rivalry with Pettis, accusing the champ of "bitching out" of his scheduled title defense against "The Punk," which was set to go down at UFC on FOX 9 on Dec. 14, 2013.
Before Nate gets his crack at the title, however, he first has to get past the tough-as-nails Maynard this weekend in "Sin City." A confident Diaz says he recognizes Gray's skill set, but it won't stop him from getting in his face all night.
"I'm going to beat Gray Maynard. It's the third time fighting him. Finish it off and seal the deal. I won the first one. I think I won the second fight, too. You can ask him how he won the fight. I'll bet you he don't got too good of an answer. I've gotten better and I think he's gotten better, too. He wrestles good and he hits hard. He's a good athlete. It's nothing I haven't dealt with before. I'm going to be in his face. I'm going to let him know that I'm there to win."
Should he best "The Bully" (again), Diaz has his sights set on a rematch against Thomson, the first man to ever knock him out at UFC on FOX 7, in order to earn another shot at the division strap after coming up short in his first bid against Ben Henderson at UFC on FOX 5 last December.
Of course, Thomson already has his plate full as he is set to take on the aforementioned Henderson at UFC on FOX 10 on Jan. 25, 2014. Should "The Punk" beat "Smooth," then his title fight against "Showtime" will likely waiting for him, leaving Diaz out in the cold.
If that's the case, I'm sure the young slugger will find someone else to pick a fight against in a talent-rich division.