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Nate Diaz vs Dustin Poirier booked for UFC 230 in New York

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MMA: UFC 202-Diaz vs McGregor 2 Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Gotta admit, I didn’t see this one coming.

Top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight contender, Dustin Poirier, will not be waiting on the sidelines for a 155-pound title shot and will instead return to action against the previously M.I.A. Nate Diaz at the upcoming UFC 230 pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for Sat., Nov. 3, 2018 inside Madison Square Garden in New York.

Los Angeles Times first brought word of the pairing on Thursday night.

Poirier (24-5, 1 NC) is fresh off his second-round shellacking of Eddie Alvarez at UFC on FOX 30 last weekend in Calgary (watch it), win that landed him at No. 3 in the official rankings. It was “The Diamond’s” third straight win — and third straight finish — since his UFC 211 “No Contest” against “The Underground King.”

As for Diaz (19-11), his last Octagon appearance came two years back in his welterweight rematch against Conor McGregor, which he lost by way of close majority decision. The wily Stockton slugger hasn’t seen the lightweight division since knocking around Michael Johnson back in 2015.

I guess he just figured out how expensive child-rearing can be.

UFC 230 has yet to announce it’s main event, but is expected to feature a couple of outstanding middleweight battles, including Luke Rockhold vs. Chris Weidman and Paulo Costa vs. Yoel Romero.

Stay tuned for more UFC 230 fight card announcements in the coming weeks, if not days.