Even though he’s been away from the Octagon for nearly two years, Nate Diaz has no shortage of potential suitors now that his return could be imminent.
One of those is Kevin Lee, who raised his stock considerably with a dominant fifth-round doctor stoppage victory over Edson Barboza in the UFC Fight Night 128 headliner on April 21. While “The Motown Phenom” does covet a showdown with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, he believes that Diaz might make more sense for his next bout. Nurmagomedov recently said that he is targeting November or December for his first 155-pound title defense.
Diaz, meanwhile, is reportedly in talks with the promotion for a bout at UFC 227 on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles. The Stockton, Calif., native hasn’t competed since losing a majority decision to Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016.
“I’m turning my focus to Nate. I think that fight is out there to be had,” Lee said on MMA Tonight on SiriusXM. “He’s already run away from me once. Now they got Aug. 4 coming up that he’s looking to get on. I’m gonna do a little bit of traveling, see the world a little bit myself. But coming back, I think the Khabib fight is the right one to make, but the Nate fight is out there to be had.
“I know Dustin [Poirier] and [Eddie] Alvarez, they’re getting it in again [at UFC on Fox 30], as they rightfully should. We’ll see how this whole thing plays out. But I might just turn my focus on to Nate.”
"I'm turning my focus to Nate ... I think the Khabib fight is the right one to make but the Nate fight is out there to be had." -- @MoTownPhenom to @MieshaTate & @realOCsports on who he wants next. pic.twitter.com/HRZddbq9NR— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) May 3, 2018
Lee has won six of his last seven bouts in the Octagon, with his only defeat coming to Tony Ferguson via third-round submission in an interim title contest at UFC 216 last October.