Following Nate Diaz’ upset victory over Conor McGregor in the welterweight headliner at UFC 196, the 209 son is now meritorious of an immediate title tilt at either lightweight or 170 lbs.

1. The projected superfight between featherweight titlist McGregor and lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos was nixed when the latter pulled out sighting a broken foot.
With the card in dire straits, the promotions head honchos went searching for a reputable and money fight worthy replacement. That stand-in manifested in the mould of Diaz. The Stockton Calif., native took the fight on eleven days’ notice; no camp, no training, no nothing (double negative accepted). Regardless of the money on offer, that per se warranted consideration for a title shot if he turned the tide in his favour, which he did.

2. Diaz (19-10 MMA, 14-8 UFC) effectuated what no other UFC combatant had been able to accomplish, when, in the second stanza of their epic encounter he put the brakes on the surging freight train of “The Notorious” via rear-naked choke. Following that titanic trouncing, he not only ended the 15-fight win streak of the 27-year-old McGregor (19-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC), he also handed the company’s most prized asset his sole defeat since taking up residency at the Zuffa-based promotion.

3. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is both a nascent promotion as well as a going concern, and as such, the business of making business (money fights) is foremost on their minds. Love or hate him, over the years, alongside his older brother Nick, the 30-year-old has proven to be a fan favourite, which is evidenced through his style of fighting, ride or die attitude, F-bombs galore, maverickism towards the media, UFC et al. In addition, his in/out cage antics, good or bad make for great viewing/reading. Long story short, he is one half of MMA’s anomalous duo, and if given the requisite push, would appeal to the casual fan as well as the uniformed. Now that’s money talking.

4. The Cesar Gracie fighter was the victim of a one-sided drilling courtesy of dos Anjos back in December 2014. However, he’s since rebounded; putting a clinic on vaunted 155-pounder Michael Johnson. That being said, Diaz wrecked dos Anjos’ original opponent (McGregor), so an argument should (not could) be made that since the Irishman was allowed to move up a weight class and jump the queue straight to a title shot, then Diaz, a natural lightweight, should likewise be afforded the same luxury. Besides, what lucrative fights are out there for dos Anjos and the UFC to take at 155? None. The money fight is Diaz.

5. Finally, the McGregor fight was Diaz’ fifth outing in the hard as nails 170-pound division. At present, he’s 3-2; an indication he’s more than capable of hanging with ‘em. Incumbent welterweight champ “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler is presently without an opponent for his next outing. Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson are waiting in the wings, and they can wait that little bit longer. Carlos Condit’s back-and-forth bloodfest with Lawler is one for the history books, but he lost, as was the scenario against then-champ Georges St-Pierre. So for now, that rematch can perch nicely on the backburner. What makes sense (even Dana White alluded to this), money and entertainment wise, is a Diaz vs. Lawler matchup; it’ll blow the roof off the MGM for sure. To further plead his case, “Mystic Mac” was promised Lawler had he taken care of business, so why not Diaz?

About The Author

Nedu Obi

Nedu graduated from London Metropolitan University and has a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing and Media Studies. He is a fervent freelance writer/blogger and a wordsmith provocateur. His hobbies/interests are centred on MMA, Boxing, Football, Current Events and the Arts. He’s also a keen roller skater and marshals for the LFNS (London Friday Night Skate). "Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind". - George Orwell