On Saturday night, lightweight bad boy Nate Diaz returned to the Octagon for the 18th time. Unfortunately for the Stockton, Calif., brawler, things didn't go his way. Unable to stop the head kicks thrown from opponent Josh Thomson, Diaz suffered the first knockout loss of his career.
Diaz is no chump though. Although his game plan never seems to vary, he learns from every loss and comes back stronger than ever before.
Here is a look at five fights for Nate Diaz to take upon his return.
At UFC on FX 8, the UFC returns to Brazil for a night of fights that shouldn't be missed. On the main card, Rafael dos Anjos and Evan Dunham meet in a scrap between lightweight standouts. Check out the head-to-toe breakdown of that fight.
Dunham is a lengthy fighter who loves a good brawl, which is exactly the kind of fighter that Diaz is proud to be. Those two would put on a Fight of the Night winner on any card in the year.
Dos Anjos, currently ranked No. 8 in the division, is a submission machine who has recently been putting on the best performances of his career. With improved wrestling and proven knockout power, he is a challenge for anyone.
Because the UFC likes to book fighters coming off of losses against one another, Diaz should meet whoever comes up short in this contest.
If Diaz is on the way down in the lightweight division, it's likely that he will square off with someone making the climb up the ladder. Who better to step in than former WEC champion Jamie Varner?
Varner has defeated notables Edson Barboza and Melvin Guillard since returning to Zuffa, and in his sole loss, he put on a Fight of the Year candidate against Joe Lauzon.
Nate Diaz recently talked about a potential return to welterweight following his matchup with Thomson. For that reason, it's important to look at some options in the 170-pound division.
At the top of my list is Team AKA standout Mike Swick, who has been a popular member of the UFC roster since his appearance in the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Each man has a fighting style that lends itself to Fight of the Night bonuses. Putting them together would be a home run for fans.
Another welterweight option for Diaz comes in the form of Danish fighter Martin Kampmann.
Like Diaz, "The Hitman" found himself in title talks late last year, but saw those hopes vanish when he was knocked out by Johny Hendricks.
This is a matchup between two guys who prefer to strike, but possess tremendous grappling skills.
I'm not gonna lie. Ever since Joe Lauzon broke the all-time record for fight night bonuses, I have been aching to see him square off with Nate Diaz. With both fighters being similarly ranked and coming off of losses, it looks like the stars have finally aligned.
Lauzon and Diaz were both cast members on season five of The Ultimate Fighter, and since that time have become known as two of the most exciting lightweights on the planet.
Not only will both men brawl at the drop of a hat, but each man has the submission skills to choke out any man on the planet.