SAN JOSE, Calif. – After this weekend’s UFC on FOX 7 bout with Josh Thomson, Nate Diaz doesn’t believe the lightweight class is going to be able to offer anything that interests him.
So Diaz (16-8 MMA, 11-6 UFC), who fights Thomson (19-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on Saturday’s FOX-televised main card at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., is setting his sights on another division.
And, in fact, it’s one in which he’s competed before: welterweight.
Diaz said the decision is made even easier since he expects his teammate, final Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, to take the title from reigning UFC champion Benson Henderson in this weekend’s champion-vs.-champion main event.
“I don’t think there’s anything for me at the lightweight division,” he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I already beat everyone at lightweight or I fought everyone already. The only person who beat me was Ben, and Gil’s going to handle him Saturday. I’m going to sit around and fight the guys all over again? Boring. There’s no motivation in that. I’d rather fight someone new.”
In fact, since winning “The Ultimate Fighter 5,” Diaz has fought 13 times at 155 pounds and posted a 9-4 record. But his most recent bout ended in a decision loss to Henderson. With a Henderson rematch unlikely anytime soon, and since he figures Melendez will dethrone him anyway, he’s looking elsewhere for his future.
Diaz said the move has everything to do with compelling matchups and nothing to do with the weight cuts needed to get down to 156 pounds.
“The weight cut is cool,” he said. “I handle it easier than most of these guys, but like I said, I’ve been in this lightweight division for seven or eight years now, probably longer than any lightweight in here.”
Diaz previously dabbled in the 170-pound division. From 2010-2011, he went 2-2 with wins over Rory Markham and Marcus Davis, and losses to Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald. He then returned to the lightweight division, where he won three consecutive bouts to earn his December title shot, which ended in a lopsided decision loss.
“So unless they have something really cool to offer (at lightweight) or a really cool fight that would interest me … yeah, I’m out,” he said.
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