Nate Diaz is reportedly set to make his Octagon return against Leon Edwards at UFC 262 in May.
As first reported by ESPN, both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout but no contracts have been signed as yet. The bout will be contested over five rounds despite the bout not being a title fight nor a main event – something the UFC has never done before.
UFC 262 is set to take place at Houston’s Toyota Center on 15 May. The event’s headliner will see Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler compete for the UFC lightweight championship.
This will be the first time we’ve seen Diaz fight since his loss to Jorge Masvidal for the “BMF title” at UFC 244 in November, 2019. This will only be his fifth fight since 2016, when he beat and lost to Conor McGregor over two bouts in the same year.
The Stockton, California native returned to the cage in 2019 with a winning effort against former UFC and WEC lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, before tasting defeat to Masvidal later that year.
Edwards is another fighter who has struggled for cage time in recent years.
Highly-ranked welterweight Edwards returned to the Octagon for the first time in over 600 days earlier in March against short-notice opponent Belal Muhammad.
Unfortunately for “Rocky”, his fight with Muhhamad ended abruptly after an errant, but accidental, eye poke to his opponent saw the fight called a no-decision.
Birmingham’s Edwards is unbeaten in his last nine fights: his last loss coming to champion Kamaru Usman in 2015.