Nate Diaz has been hinting at making a return to the UFC for a little while now, and his comeback fight has officially been booked for UFC 262 where he will face Welterweight contender Leon Edwards. He hasn’t been seen since he was on the losing side of the first and only BMF title fight against Jorge Masvidal back at UFC 244 in November, 2019. While he’s taken some time away from competing, he hasn’t spent long out of the public eye and was recently seen grappling with 300lbs+ weightlifter and CEO of Strength Cartel, “Big Boy”.
This fight will serve as the co-main event for UFC 262, underneath the first title-fight in the Lightweight division since Dana White finally accepted that Khabib Nurmagomedov had retired. Elite grappler Charles Oliveira will be facing off against ex-Bellator Lightweight World Champion Michael Chandler for the vacant UFC Lightweight title, with the winner likely making their first title-defense against the winner of Conor McGregor v Dustin Poirier 3. The chances of seeing some stunning BJJ at this event are through the roof as IBJJF and ADCC World Champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will also be making an appearance as he attempts to get back to his winning ways against Andre Muniz.
The match between Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards will actually make history at UFC 262, as the first non-title bout to serve as a co-main event that will be contested over five rounds. Historically, five-round fights were exclusively reserved for title matches until UFC 138 in 2011 when Chris Leben and Mark Munoz fought in the first non-title five-round fight. Since then, all five-round fights have either been title-fights, or main event matches. The move to having more non-title matches contested over five rounds will only be good for fighters as it gives those on their way to a title shot more opportunity to compete in lengthier matches before they make it to the top.
UFC 262 will be available to watch live on May 15th on UFC FightPass, click here to subscribe and watch.