Run at WelterweightEdit
Diaz most recently defeated Rory Markham by technical knockout in his welterweight debut.
He most rec
ently faced Marcus Davis at welterweight. After a bloody back-and-forth war over two-and-a-half rounds, Diaz choked Davis unconscious with a D'arce choke.He next fought officially undefeated judo ace Dong Hyun Kim, losing via unanimous decision for his first defeat at welterweight inside the Octagon.
He next fought prospect Rory MacDonald, losing via dominant decision for his second straight loss. Afterwards, Diaz contemplated moving back down to lightweight.
Return to Lightweight And Road to the TitleEdit
Diaz next moved down to lightweight to face former Pride lightweight champion Takanori Gomi. He defeated Gomi via first-round armbar submission in a fantastic SOTN bonus-winning performance.
Diaz next signed to face a highly-ranked contender in WEC veteran Donald Cerrone. The fight was considered a lightweight title eliminator. Diaz put on a brilliant performance showing that he was just good at that famous "Stockton slap" style of boxing that his older brother Nick Diaz had previously perfected. Diaz possibly broke Cerrone's jaw, landing ruthless combination after combination, overwhelming Cerrone
with volume punches and making him look like an amateur. Diaz couldn't secure the finish against a tough Cerrone; however, he picked up a dominant unanimous decision victory and stepped into the Top 10 lightweight rankings for perhaps the first time in his young career.
Indeed, Diaz received a fight against top contender Jim Miller. The winner would almost surely be granted the next shot at the UFC lightweight title. Diaz defeated Miller via second round guillotine choke after a great performance. With the victory, Diaz earned a shot at the winner of the UFC lightweight title fight between Ben Henderson and Frank Edgar.
Henderson won, setting up a UFC lightweight title clash with Diaz in December 2012 live on Fox. Henderson dominated Diaz en route to a unanimous decision victory.
After the TitleEdit
Diaz was next called out by undefeated Russian prospect Khabib Nurmagomedov in January 2013. After demolishing Thiago Tavares with a first round knockout, Nurmagomedov again called out Diaz with a little more authority.
Diaz instead next signed to face returning Strikeforce veteran Josh Thomson in April 2013. In March 2013 before the Thomson bout, Nate was called out by Diego Sanchez who had defeated his brother Nick in 2005. Nate also stated he wanted to move up to the welterweight division or a new 163lb division, missing weight before the Thomson fight as well.
Thomson proved that Diaz had enough on his plate already, giving Diaz a beating before finishing him in the second round with a kick and punches. UFC president Dana White stated that he wanted Nate to stay at lightweight.
Afterwards Diaz defended Pat Healy -- who had been suspended for testing positive for marijuana -- and called Bryan Caraway -- who instead received Healy's Submission of the Night bonus and spoke out against marijuana users -- a "fag." Diaz was subsequently suspended by the UFC and UFC president Dana White spoke of possibly releasing him from his contract.
Diaz was suspended for ninety days as a result and fined $20,000.
After coming off the suspension Diaz signed to fight a rematch -- some might say a rubber match -- of his TUF rival Gray Maynard. Even as he trained for the tough rematch against Maynard Diaz was called out again by Diego Sanchez for a five-round fight win or lose against Maynard. Diaz has yet to respond.
Diaz put on a vintage performance defeating Maynard via an impressive first round technical knockout.
Contract Negotiation DifficultiesEdit
Diaz was next accused by UFC president Dana White of 'ducking' -- or refusing to fight -- undefeated prospect Khabib Nurmagomedov. Diaz stated that he hadn't ducked Nurmagomedov but that he wanted fights that would get him closer to a title shot.
In late February 2014 Diaz requested to the UFC through Twitter that he be released from his UFC contract, possibly looking to fight for Bellator as his teammate Gilbert Melendez had been before the UFC exercised their matching clause rights to re-sign him.
Diaz's hiatus unfortunately continued due to contract negotiation problems for most of 2014.
Return to ActionEdit
In late September 2014 Diaz finally signed to return to fight veteran Rafael Dos Anjos for December 2014. He hadn't negotiated a new contract and was instead working on finishing his old one, insisting on fighting a Top 5 guy. Diaz missed weight for the fight and looked like less than himself in it, being dominated by Dos Anjos via leg kicks and wrestling.
Diaz didn't fight for around a year after the fight citing more contract disputes but finally fought Michael Johnson in December 2015. He defeated Johnson via a tough but clearcut unanimous decision, spurring calls of his 'resurgence' from jubilant fans. Diaz called out UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor after the fight but that 'big-money fight' didn't come to fruition.
The Real Money Fight Edit
Diaz instead next signed to fight former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis for April 2016.
The fight did not materialize and instead Diaz stepped in to replace the injured UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos against UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor who had been planning to move up to lightweight for a superfight against dos Anjos. Diaz had only ten days' notice for the fight and only had time to train for three of those days with additional media responsibilities.
Diaz still came in on the night of the fight and showed that he was a true fighter, outstriking McGregor ultimately in a bloody war before submitting McGregor via a second round rear-naked choke submission. It was without a doubt the biggest win of Diaz's career and one of the biggest fights in UFC history.
- Koji Oishi vs. Nate Diaz - The fight was Diaz's first loss in only his second fight. The fight came two months after Koji Oishi was knocked out by Nate's brother Nick Diaz in the UFC.
- Hermes Franca vs. Nate Diaz - The fight was for the WEC lightweight title with Hermes Franca defending. Franca vacated the title after the bout.
- Nate Diaz vs. Alvin Robinson
- Nate Diaz vs. Kurt Pellegrino
- Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer - Josh Neer had called Diaz's chin untested before the fight. Neer came out for the fight to Bother by Stone Sour.
- Clay Guida vs. Nate Diaz - Diaz had an eight-inch reach advantage. The fight was Diaz's first loss inside the UFC.
- Joe Stevenson vs. Nate Diaz - Joe Stevenson came into the fight on thin ice, having lost two previous bouts to Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, and he was in danger of being cut by the UFC if he lost to Diaz as well. He pulled out the win.
- Nate Diaz vs. Melvin Guillard
- Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz - The fight was a rematch of their amateur bout on The Ultimate Fighter.
- Nate Diaz vs. Rory Markham - The fight was Diaz's welterweight debut. After the fight, Rory Markham was cut.
- Nate Diaz vs. Marcus Davis - Diaz had a six-inch reach advantage.
- Dong Hyun Kim vs. Nate Diaz
- Rory MacDonald vs. Nate Diaz
- Nate Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi - The fight was the return to lightweight for Diaz and he put on probably his career-defining performance to date.
- Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz - The fight was for the UFC lightweight title with Ben Henderson defending.
- Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Nate Diaz
- Nate Diaz vs. Michael Johnson
- Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor 1 - Nate Diaz was a late-notice replacement for an injured Rafael Dos Anjos on about ten days notice.