Nate Diaz vs. Leon Edwards set as UFC 262 co-main event

Nate Diaz seen here flexing for the fans while leaving the stage following the UFC 202 weigh-ins in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

UFC 262 is getting one heck of a co-main event with Nate Diaz expected to make his return to the cage against Leon Edwards in a five-round welterweight matchup.

The UFC officially announced the bout Wednesday following an initial report from ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. This will be the first time in UFC history where a five-round, non-title fight serves as a co-main event.

The event is scheduled to take place on May 15 with fans in the stands at Houston’s Toyota Center where a lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler headlines the card. The 155-pound division’s title was officially vacated earlier in March when the UFC formally acknowledged Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement.

At the same time as Helwani’s report, Diaz took to his Twitter account where he confirmed he’d be competing on May 15. In his tweet, Diaz also suggested he was the real headliner and that Oliveira and Chandler would be fighting for his old crown – insinuating he used to be the top fighter in the UFC’s lightweight division despite never winning the title.

Diaz (20-12) turns 36 in mid-April and hasn’t fought since losing to welterweight title challenger Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 in 2019.

Edwards (18-3, one no-contest) made his anticipated return to action in a March main event against Belal Muhammad that ended in a no-contest after an inadvertent eye poke from Edwards rendered Muhammad unable to continue.

The Birmingham, England native hadn’t fought since beating former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in July 2019 and a win over Muhammad was supposed to earn him a title shot against reigning welterweight titleholder Kamaru Usman, the last fighter to defeat Edwards when the two met back in 2015. Usman is next facing Masvidal instead.

Edwards is the No. 3-ranked welterweight contender at the moment and Diaz has only one win in the past five years so it was little surprise to see Edwards open as a -275 favourite and Diaz as a +220 underdog on the betting lines.

Other fights announced for UFC 262 to date include: Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush, Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza and Jack Hermansson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan.

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