UFC roundup: Nate Diaz calls out Dustin Poirier on social media

Dustin Poirier, left, and Nate Diaz, right, face off at a media event. The lightweight stars we scheduled to meet in 2018 but the fight fell apart.

Nate Diaz called out Dustin Poirier on social media less than a week after Poirier picked up his second consecutive win over Conor McGregor.

Diaz posted a photo of him and Poirier from a past UFC press conference with a caption suggesting he wants to meet at middleweight, a division in which neither fighter has ever competed.

It didn’t take long for Poirier to respond to Diaz’s challenge.

The pair were briefly slated to meet at UFC 230 back in 2018 but the matchup fell apart and the fight was never rebooked.

“Always wanted to whip Nate Diaz’s ass,” Poirier told reporters in January after his UFC 257 win over McGregor. “That interests me. … Nate Diaz got away and likes to talk a lot of (expletive) online.”

A Poirier vs. Diaz matchup doesn’t necessarily make sense from a rankings or weight class standpoint, however it would undoubtedly be a box office smash hit.

Diaz, a longtime lightweight, has only fought five times in the past five years. All took place at 170 pounds where he went 2-3. His most recent outing was a loss to welterweight contender Leon Edwards at UFC 263 in June. Diaz lost a unanimous decision that night but nearly finished Edwards in the final minute of the bout.

Poirier, meanwhile, is the consensus No. 1 lightweight in the UFC and is in line for a fight with reigning titleholder Charles Oliveira later this year should he choose to accept it.

Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler rematch set after 17 years

Nick Diaz is officially returning to the Octagon after more than six years away from competition. The organization announced this week he will face former welterweight champion Robbie Lawer in a five-round featured bout at UFC 266 in September.

It’s a rematch of their classic UFC 47 encounter from way back in 2004 in which Diaz won via second-round stoppage.

Diaz, a popular mixed martial arts veteran and the older brother of Nate Diaz, hasn’t fought since taking on Anderson Silva at UFC 183. He has not won a professional fight since defeating B.J. Penn in 2011.

Lawler, 39, has lost four consecutive bouts dating back to 2017. Diaz turns 38 in August.

UFC 266 adds two title bouts

In addition to the anticipated Diaz-Lawler rematch, UFC 266 will feature two championship fights.

Dominant UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will defend her belt against Lauren Murphy. Shevchenko is 7-0 at 125 pounds, while Murphy is a winner of five straight.

The main event sees UFC men’s featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski take on challenger Brian Ortega. Volkanovski is 9-0 in the UFC coming off two straight wins over Max Holloway. Ortega is riding high off a dominant victory over Chan Sung Jung last October. Volkanovski and Ortega have been coaching on the latest season of the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter reality series.

Dillashaw’s return confirmed for UFC Fight Night

Former UFC men’s bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw is officially ready for his comeback fight. The UFC confirmed his July 24 bout with Cory Sandhagen is a go.

The pair was originally slated to meet in early May but Dillashaw sustained a cut in training delaying the bout.

Dillashaw hasn’t fought since losing to Henry Cejudo in 2019 after which he tested positive for banned substances and was suspended from competition for two years.

Sandhagen is coming off a highlight-reel flying knee knockout of Frankie Edgar in February.

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