Dana White Says Return to Welterweight for Nate Diaz Would Be 'Big Mistake'

Damon Martin@@DamonMartinContributor IApril 21, 2013

Prior to UFC on Fox 7 on Saturday night, former title contender Nate Diaz teased that his fight with Josh Thomson might be the last for him before returning to the welterweight division.

A lightweight fighter for most of his career, Diaz dabbled at 170 pounds between 2010 and 2011, going 2-2 over four fights.  Once he ran into much larger fighters such as Dong Hyun-Kim and Rory MacDonald, Diaz moved back down to a more natural 155 pounds where he earned a title shot late last year.

If his plans still include a return to welterweight, Diaz will go there after losing by knockout for the first time in his career.  Diaz fell to the former Strikeforce lightweight champion after being clipped by a head kick in the second round that actually resulted in his corner throwing in the towel.

While Diaz has not made his plans clear since the fight ended, UFC President Dana White weighed in following the end of the UFC on Fox 7 post-fight press conference.  He says he doesn't believe it would be a smart idea for the former lightweight title contender to test the waters at welterweight again.

"I think going to 170's a big mistake," White said.  "Big, strong guys at 170. If he can make (1)55, look what happened tonight at 55."

The decision to move to 170 pounds already seemed a bit odd considering Diaz's older brother Nick already competes at that weight class, although he's stated recently he is retired after his loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158.  In addition, Diaz's close friend and teammate Jake Shields also fights in the welterweight division.

Diaz has stated on several occasions in the past that he has no desire to ever run into a situation where he would want to face his friends or teammates in the Octagon.

Following such a dramatic loss at UFC on Fox 7 against Thomson, it's unclear if that plan to return to welterweight remains a goal for the younger Diaz brother or not.  The loss to Thomson marked Diaz's second straight in the Octagon after winning three in a row in the lightweight division.

The road back to title contention in either weight class would be a long walk for Diaz, but he'll have some time now after the knockout to make a final decision whether a move up to welterweight is the best decision or not.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.