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UFC’s Nate Diaz makes impressive return to octagon after 3-year layoff, eyes rising star as next opponent

Jorge Masvidal celebrates his knockout victory over Ben Askren during their welterweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 239, Saturday, July 6, 2019, in Las Vegas. Masvidal won by the fastest knockout in UFC history. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

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UFC’s Nate Diaz makes impressive return to octagon after 3-year layoff, eyes rising star as next opponent


Nate Diaz made a thunderous return to UFC and mixed martial arts Saturday night when he defeated Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision in his first fight in more than three years.

Diaz’s performance was widely praised and, after his fight, he teased a possible bout with Jorge Masvidal – who is looking for his next fight after defeating Ben Askren in record UFC time.

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“With this belt, I want to defend it against… Jorge Masvidal had a good last fight, good last fight,” Diaz told Joe Rogan after his win. “All respect to the man, but there ain’t no gangsters in this game anymore. There ain’t nobody who does it right but me and him. So I know my man’s a gangster, but he ain’t no West Coast gangster.”

Diaz added: “You have to recognize who is the best in the game, and it’s not who they say it is. It’s who I’m saying it is. It’s the guy who has been winning forever and still on the top of the game. … Who’s the real bada– dude in the 170 division? They’re trying to pump up this dude [Askren], and Masvidal goes in there and knocks his a– out, and he’s been in here since I started fighting in 2004, I think. I think he had been there a little longer, and he just did that. So, that’s the best fighter to me, the best martial artist who is still on top of the game.”

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UFC president Dana White seemingly agreed with Diaz, according to MMA Fighting. White said he would be down for a Diaz-Masvidal fight, but believes Masvidal could be in line for a title shot.

Jorge Masvidal celebrates his knockout victory over Ben Askren during their welterweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 239, Saturday, July 6, 2019, in Las Vegas. Masvidal won by the fastest knockout in UFC history. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

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“Who wouldn’t wanna see that fight? I think everybody would,” White said. “I know Masvidal believes he should get the next [welterweight title] shot after the Kamaru Usman-Colby Covington fight. We’ll see. If he wanted to take that fight [Diaz], it’d be fun and I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”



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