UFC veteran Nate Diaz has hinted he is heading into retirement from mixed martial arts following his loss to Jorge Masvidal via doctor's stoppage at UFC 244 on Saturday.
Diaz, 34, lost via stoppage for only the third time in his 15-year career at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where welterweight star Masvidal was dominating prior to the doctor's intervention.
A rematch between the pair was mooted, though Diaz now seems to have dismissed any chance of a second fight.
He took to Instagram on Thursday and posted an image of him smoking alongside older brother and fellow UFC veteran Nick Diaz. The caption read: "F--k a rematch this s--t was over before it started. I'm goin on out on tour (sic). Peace out fight game (peace emoji)."
Masvidal, also 34, clinched the one-off "BMF belt" with his victory between the third and fourth round when a cut over Diaz's right eye was deemed too severe for him to continue, via BT Sport (footage NSFW):
Diaz (20-12 in professional MMA) first rose to prominence when he won The Ultimate Fighter 5 in 2007. Older brother Nick was well-established in the UFC at the time, while Nate already had fights in Strikeforce and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) under his belt.
The Stockton, California, native will perhaps be best remembered for his double-header of fights with Conor McGregor. Diaz submitted McGregor at UFC 196, becoming the first fighter to beat "The Notorious" in the promotion, though he lost the rematch via majority decision at UFC 202 in August 2016.
His supposed retirement means fans may never get to see the much-anticipated trilogy fight, which McGregor alluded to following Saturday's result:
Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA
@UFCDoctor @NateDiaz209 @danawhite @ufc Excellent job Greg. Robbed of a classic there we were. Cutmen in the corner must be more assertive when a fighter must stay still. Between rounds 1 and 2 a crucial moment of repair was missed due to movement. Either way, solid fighting and onto the next... Me.
Diaz—who defeated Anthony Pettis via decision at UFC 241 in August—spoke to reporters prior to UFC 244 and suggested the meeting with Masvidal could be his last bout:
“I'll never have to fight again. I didn't have to fight a long time ago. But what am I going to do? I've got all kinds of other stuff going on, but I don't like not fighting.
“I'll take forever off, or I'll get back to it if anybody comes correct. The only reason we've had problems in the past is because you better treat me like it's supposed to be."
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert had a baby daughter with partner Misty Brown in June 2018. However, he said after his most recent loss that that side of his life doesn't impact his fight career, via MMA Junkie (language NSFW):
Diaz's hard-knocks approach to MMA has seen him take a lot of damage in the Octagon since he debuted at 19. He's lost nine times via decision, once by submission and twice via knockout (including the doctor's stoppage against Masvidal).
MMA fans became accustomed to a world without Diaz when he took a three-year hiatus—returning in August—though Thursday's announcement appears to suggest he's ready for a more permanent exit.