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Nick Diaz promises ‘whole new me’ in 2023 comeback, targets Israel Adesanya match up

Joe Fury

Nate Diaz may have left Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), but his big brother, Nick, is still planning a return.

The former Strikeforce Welterweight champion ended a six-year hiatus in Sept. 2021, rematching Robbie Lawler at UFC 266. Unfortunately for Diaz, he came up short in the Middleweight encounter, suffering an early third round technical knockout loss (watch highlights).

Despite the performance being one of his weaker ones, Diaz, 39, still has confidence in his capabilities and intends on fighting in 2023.

“You can see me back on top in 2023, I’m making a comeback,” Diaz said while attending Crazy Horse 3 in Las Vegas to watch UFC 282. “I’m going to be quicker than ever, stronger than ever, better than ever — I’m just gonna be a whole new me. Whoever is on top at the time [I want], preferably Israel Adesanya, if he gets his title back.”

Diaz’s most recent bout against Lawler was changed from Welterweight to Middleweight mid-fight week after the Stockton, Calif., native requested additional weight. His days at 170 pounds appear to be numbered with the former Middleweight champion, Adesanya, in his sights.

Last month (Nov. 12, 2022) at UFC 281, Adesanya tasted defeat for the first time in his career at 185 pounds. Brazil’s Alex Pereira made good on his first career UFC title tilt and third overall combat sports clash with “The Last Stylebender,” stealing the title with a fifth round technical knockout (watch highlights).

It’s never too clear exactly which direction the promotion plans to take with fighters as unique as the Diaz brothers. In the case of this desired match up, however, Diaz will likely at least need to wait for an expected Pereira versus Adesanya rematch to take place before there’s any chance at all of him jumping into that mix.


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