UFC's Dana White: Nate Diaz Return Fight Discussed, Won't Face Tony Ferguson

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIIJanuary 13, 2021

Nate Diaz is seen during his match against UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson in their mixed martial arts bout at a UFC on FOX 5 event in Seattle, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. Henderson retained his title via unanimous 5-rd. decision. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

An MMA return for Nate Diaz is in the works.

On Wednesday, UFC President Dana White told Oscar Willis of The Mac Life his plans for the 35-year-old, who last fought at welterweight and took off 2020 from competing.

"We're working on a Nate Diaz fight right now," White said. "It's not Tony [Ferguson] but if we get it done, I think you're gonna like it. Lightweight. It would put him in a really good position if he won the fight, and the guy who he could potentially be fighting, I think it's a great fight for him too." 

There has long been speculation about a matchup between Diaz and Ferguson, but the pair hasn't made it into the ring. 

Diaz, 20-12, hasn't fought as a lightweight since December 2015. He last entered the Octagon in 2019, when he lost by TKO to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244.

His status for that event was in question when he tested positive for a banned substance, but the USADA eventually cleared him to fight. It was revealed that Diaz had ingested a legal supplement that contained traces of Ligandrol, a banned substance that "stimulates muscle growth," per ESPN's Brett Okamoto and Marc Raimondi

However, the UFC said in a statement: "There is unequivocally no appreciable performance enhancing or therapeutic benefit from the significantly limited amount of LGD-4033 that may be present in his system, which is roughly 10,000 times lower than one LGD-4033 therapeutic dose."

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Before the loss to Masvidal, which came via doctor's stoppage, Diaz defeated Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 in 2019.