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Monday Morning Hangover: What's next for Nate Diaz following Conor McGregor loss at UFC 202?

Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC 202 went down last Saturday night (Aug. 20, 2016) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For complete coverage of the entire UFC 202: "Diaz vs. Mcgregor 2" fight card click here.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Glover Teixeira, who was knocked out in 13 seconds flat by the heavy-handed Anthony Johnson (video highlights here).

And Rick Story, who was beat down and eventually knocked out by Donald Cerrone by a four-punch combination that will live on for years (see it).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now 48 hours removed from the show?

Nate Diaz.

The Stockton slugger looked to make it two-for-two against the biggest star in the sport today, Conor McGregor, in the headlining act of the pay-per-view (PPV) event. In doing so, not only would he have derailed Conor's Irish locomotive, possibly for good, but he would have assured himself the chance to write his own ticket for the remainder of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

But after five rounds of intense and grueling action, "Notorious" walked away with a majority win, tying the series at one and setting up a trilogy fight somewhere down the road.

Still, Nate shouldn't hang his head low over the loss, as many thought he should have been awarded the nod. But, aside from proving he is indeed a world-class fighter despite the lack of "high-profile" wins, minus McGregor, of course, Diaz also showed just how tough he can be in the face of adversity.

After getting dropped repeatedly in the opening frame, Diaz went on to get cut wide open by Conor's fist, causing a downpour of blood that obviously bothered Nate's vision. Still, while the blood kept coming, so too did Nate, as it seemed the more damage he took, the more aggressive he became.

Full video highlights here.

Though he was visibly tired himself, it was obvious Nate's gas tank was better than that of Conor's as he repeatedly had to walk McGregor down in order to engage since the mouthy Irishman was backpedaling often in order to catch a breather.

Even McGregor himself couldn't help but to give his bitter rival props for being Zombie-like.

Despite the loss, Nate's star grew even bigger, as the respect he earned from his rival, peers and fans, only intensified. Furthermore, one good thing does come out of taking an "L," as it likely assured Diaz a third fight against the biggest money-making machine in the sport.

Which means his next payday could be even bigger than the $2 million he earned for UFC 202.

In the meantime, Nate has already stated he "won't be doing shit" until the trilogy is booked, which means it will be a long while before we get to see him inside the Octagon. With his newly-earned riches, perhaps it's back to Cabo to relax, drink tequila, vape some CBD oil and wait for another big payday.

And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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