When will Nate Diaz return to the Octagon? That’s the magic question, especially now that he has shot down both a Conor McGregor trilogy and a potential bout with Dustin Poirier.

Though Diaz tweeted about wanting to fight in January, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

Will there ever be a Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor 3?

Diaz and McGregor have both insisted that they will eventually meet in the Octagon again to settle their trilogy. However, the fight appears to be nowhere in sight for the near term.

The two first met at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016. Diaz was a last-minute substitute for Rafael dos Anjos. He upset McGregor, submitting him with a rear-naked choke in the second round.

They returned to the cage about five months later, on August 20. McGregor took the honors in the UFC 202 main event, scoring a majority decision victory, cementing their rivalry.

A McGregor vs. Diaz 3 bout would draw a huge audience and massive paydays for both fighters, but with McGregor currently injured, it’s unlikely to happen for quite some time. Diaz poured even more water on the fire by stating that he wasn’t only waiting for McGregor to heal, but to earn his way back into the fight.

“I’m not fighting Conor until his leg grows back and he beats some people so we know he can even fight still,” Diaz wrote on Twitter. “Till then, can I get on January card UFC?”

Why isn’t Nate Diaz vs. Dustin Poirier a done deal?

If Diaz wants a fight in January, why isn’t a bout with Poirier already inked?

Poirier has said that he wants the fight and that he has agreed to the fight, but admitted it won’t happen in January.

“Maybe UFC 271, they couldn’t make it happen on 270. I said yes,” Poirier wrote on Twitter when asked about a potential fight with Diaz.

Diaz, however, doesn’t sound like the UFC is willing to meet his demands to make the fight happen, taking a shot at Poirier in the process.

“The UFC don’t wanna pay for (you Dustin Poirier). Sorry (you) suck. Loser.”

Who will Nate Diaz fight next?

That’s a great question without much of an answer. Though Nate Diaz and his brother Nick have both done a good job building a solid fan base over the years, neither is really in a position to call for anything more than a fight of interest.

Nick returned to the Octagon at UFC 266 on Sept. 25, 2021, losing via TKO to Robbie Lawler. He has now lost 3 of his last 4 bouts with the other fight being a no contest. The no contest stemmed from what was originally a loss to Anderson Silva. The bout was changed to a no contest when Silva tested positive for steroids (drostanolone and androsterone) and Diaz tested positive for marijuana.

Nate hasn’t faired any better. He is 4-6 in his last 10 bouts, which dates back to 2012. Nate returned from a year-and-a-half layoff on June 12, 2021, where he lost a five-round decision to Leon Edwards. That was his second consecutive loss, and third loss in his last four bouts.

Dustin Poirier and Jorge Masvidal are the best options

So who will Nate Diaz fight next? It will probably end up being Poirier or a runback with Jorge Masvidal, whom he lost to in the infamous BMF “title” fight.

The biggest fight for Diaz would be McGregor, but the Irishman is out of commission for quite a while after breaking his leg against Poirier midway through 2021. If Diaz wants to fight soon, he’ll have to come to terms to fight Poirier, which would give him the highest ranked opposition. Although, a rematch with Masvidal would likely be his next biggest drawing fight with McGregor out of action.

The soonest we’re likely to see Diaz return to the Octagon is UFC 271, which takes place on Feb. 12 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

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