Nate Diaz Targets Dustin Poirier or Charles Oliveira; Eyes 2 UFC Fights in 2021

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2021

Nate Diaz is seen at a news conference for the UFC 244 mixed martial arts event, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in New York. Masvidal is scheduled to fight Diaz Saturday, November 2 at Madison Square Garden. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

After sitting out all of 2020, Nate Diaz has two potential opponents in mind for his next UFC bout this year. 

Speaking to ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Diaz said he wants to fight either Dustin Poirier or Charles Oliveira. 

ESPN MMA @espnmma

The two names at the top of @NateDiaz209's list are Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira. But Diaz wants them to meet him at 165 or 170 pounds 👀 (via @arielhelwani) https://t.co/XlOQlG31Tt

In the same interview (h/t ESPN's Marc Raimondi), the Stockton Slugger said he hopes to fight at "minimum" twice in 2021. 

"I'm ready to get this show on the road. ... I'm just trying to get it going," Diaz said. "Last year, it was a real bummer."

It could be a challenge to convince either Poirier or Oliveira to face Diaz, who is insisting he wants to fight at welterweight (between 156 and 170 pounds). 

Poirier has only fought at featherweight (136-145 pounds) and lightweight (146-155 pounds). Oliveira does have welterweight experience, but that was in 2008 for his professional debut in Predador FC. 

Oliveira did win that tournament with three first-round victories. The Brazilian star has fought primarily as a lightweight in the UFC, though he previously competed in the featherweight division from 2012 to 2016. 

Diaz has split time between lightweight and welterweight, though the 35-year-old has fought in the 170-pound division for each of his last four fights. 

The last time Diaz stepped into the Octagon was against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 in November 2019 for the unsanctioned BMF title. Masvidal won by TKO when the doctor stopped the fight between the third and fourth rounds. 

Diaz (20-12, 11 submissions) has lost five of his last nine fights dating back to Dec. 2012. He does hold a submission victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 196.