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Nate Diaz eyeing UFC return, world title fight ... and Conor McGregor trilogy

We may not have to wait too long before Nate Diaz returns to UFC. He’s already talking up a UFC title fight, as well as the obvious third fight against Conor McGregor.

UFC 202: Diaz v McGregor 2 Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Nate Diaz has a big money boxing bout with Jake Paul lined up for Aug. 5, 2023, but that doesn’t mean he’s done with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Diaz exited the promotion at the end of 2022 off a win over Tony Ferguson. It wasn’t supposed to be Ferguson in the cage with him — the promotion had booked him against Khamzat Chimaev in a fight many considered a squash match to hurt Nate’s drawing power on the way out the door.

Even with that and all the other difficulties the Stockton, Calif., fighter had in his dealing with UFC brass, Diaz is already talking about an eventual return to the Octagon.

“That’s an option, the UFC,” Diaz said at the press conference to promote his fight with Jake Paul (watch it). “I would like to [return to UFC]. At the end of the day, I’d like to go back and fight for a world title. If not, I’m going to have make my own world title and make the best come to me. I would like to be back in the UFC or fight the belt holders in boxing, also.

“Right now, UFC has the best fighters in the world and have for years,” Diaz added. “I’m trying to fight the best.”

An immediate world title may not be something UFC is willing to offer, but another fight against Conor McGregor is a no-brainer.

“I would like to get the third fight with Conor,” Diaz said during a press conference scrum. “I think it’s inevitable. For sure, we’ll be fighting.”

First, he’ll have to get past the much larger Paul this summer in Texas — and pass all his drug tests in the marijuana-adverse “Lone Star State.” Paul has already proven his skills against other mixed martial arts (MMA) legends like Anderson Silva, but he’s definitely beatable. Tommy Fury proved that a tight and technical game plus superior cardio can earn you a decision over Paul.

Diaz certainly has the cardio, but can he resist getting into a firefight with someone he considers beneath him in skills like Paul? It’s all part of the appeal of this match up, which is guaranteed to sell a whole lot of pay-per-view (PPV) units and make Nate a career-high payday.

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