Nate Diaz may have lost the fight to Leon Edwards, but he won the night at UFC 263 with another typically fierce and determined performance.
The MMA legend was dominated by “Rocky” in Arizona on Saturday night, until a villainous “Stockton Slap” and a left hand rocked the Briton.
With just a minute of the fight remaining, Diaz put pressure on his tired and injured opponent, but failed to secure the finish he desperately needed.
Despite losing a unanimous decision, the 36-year-old lived up to his legendary status, lighting up a joint at the post-fight press conference, then inviting everyone to an after-party at his house. .
UFC President Dana White admitted he wasn’t sure what the next step was for the American, but vowed to appease fans by putting him in another main event fight.
“His leg was done in the first round, he did five rounds kicking the legs, bleeding on both sides of his head,” White told reporters at a post-press conference. fight at UFC 263.
“One squirted that way, the other squirted that way. He always did what the Diaz brothers do.
“He worked the whole fight to get into his head and try to get him to make a mistake and then he finally caught him in the fifth round. He is incredible.
“He’s going to ask us for a six-round fight next time.”
For Edwards, he reaffirmed his desire to face welterweight world champion Kamaru Usman in a rematch of their clash in 2015.
However, he had nothing but respect for Diaz after being deeply shaken in the dying moments of the battle.
He said: “Like I said it was a crazy minute… To be dominant in a fight and then get caught with a sudden shot I was like ‘what the hell is that? is?’
“There was a minute left, I was four laps ahead but Nate is a legend, he’s been in the sport for a long time and he knows how to mount his shots, he knows how to stay there and play fair with him.
“I kind of got into this mentally. I looked at Nate… I saw the stats today on Instagram. When I was in my professional debut, he was headlining a UFC event. I’ve been watching Nate Diaz for a long time so I know exactly what he’s doing.
“I just thought he was trying to talk shit. I went to my corner and my corner just told me to stay calm, not to play his game, to do your thing and that’s what I did. I stayed calm.
“I respect his game, I respect him for this fight. I knew he was a legend for a lot of the way he behaved, he’s still the same, and that’s what I love about him.
“It was good. I give it a 7 out of 10. I could have chosen more hands, released more hands, chosen more body shots with my hands… Like I said, live and learn, I cant believe i caught this blow in the last round but you have to stay off the whole fight, not get lazy and play fair with him.