Now 38 and lined up for a boxing match against Jake Paul on Aug. 5, some pundits think Diaz’s time in the octagon is a thing of the past. But not Sonnen. The three-time UFC title challenger turned analyst expected Diaz to return to UFC, and he’ll be involved in a title fight.
“I think he returns either way, but I’m going to do this from a positive standpoint of with a victory,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel. “If Nate beats Jake, he’s going to attempt to return to the UFC, and he’s coming back for championships.”
Diaz completed his UFC contract in September and is now scheduled to take on Paul this summer in Dallas in an eight-round boxing match at 185 pounds. There are no questions surrounding Diaz’s star power, but there are plenty on whether he’s still a UFC championship caliber fighter.
Sonnen doesn’t think Diaz is in the title picture at lightweight or welterweight, but there’s one championship lane he seems him clearly occupying.
“By the time Nate gets done with Jake, and we assume it comes with a victory, and Nate says, I’m coming back to the UFC for a championship,’ you would be wrong to assume he meant a weight division championship,” Sonnen explained. “He would only be coming back for one championship. His championship. It’s a championship that eluded him because, according to him, it was cut short by a doctor who should’ve never stopped the fight after 15 minutes, and it was scheduled for 25. I of course was talking about the ‘BMF.’
“So when people ask me, ‘What’s next for Nate Diaz?’ I many times ask them, ‘What do they believe has changed for Nate Diaz?’ He thought he was the ‘BMF,’ he went out there to contest it, he didn’t like the way it was stopped.”
Diaz has been public about his desire to return to the UFC if the conditions are right.
The Bad Motherf*cker title, which was supposed to be, according to UFC president Dana White, a one time event, was put back into circulation by the promotion. Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje will be competing for the title on July 29 in the main event of UFC 291 in Salt Lake City,.
The “BMF” title was originally introduced in a welterweight fight between Diaz and Jorge Masvidal in November 2019. Masvidal was crowned the ‘BMF’ champion after defeating Diaz by doctor’s stoppage TKO at the end of the third round.
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s hub for Paul vs. Diaz.