Nate Diaz is back. The 35-year-old from Stockton, California, is ready to make his return to the Octagon on May 15 when he is expected to take on Leon Edwards in the co-main event of UFC 262 in Houston, according to multiple reports. The kicker here is that the fight will be a five-round non-title bout. It's the first time in UFC history that they've promoted such a fight when it's not in the main event slot. The promotion did not confirm the news on Wednesday, but did tease the return of Diaz.
Diaz has been on hiatus since 2019 when he split a pair of fights in his only action in four years. He scored a unanimous decision over Anthony Pettis in August before suffering a TKO loss to Jorge Masvidal due to a cut in November. Now, nearly 18 months later, Diaz returns against one of the top 170-pound fighters in the world in Edwards, where a win could viably get him in the conversation for top contender status.
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Edwards, meanwhile, gets a much-needed quick turnaround after his March return marred by an eye poke against Belal Muhammad. Edwards had his own run of bad luck when it came to getting back into the Octagon. He had not fought since July 2019 before stepping in against Muhammad earlier this month after the COVID-19 lockdown to start 2020 and then his own bout with the virus at the end of the year. Now, Edwards gets the showcase opportunity he's been waiting for against a high profile name.