At this point, it’s total speculation. UFC superstar Nate Diaz hasn’t been booked for his next fight.
However, Diaz’s tweets have suggested that he’s down to face one of the world’s hottest welterweights in Vicente Luque, who has ripped off four consecutive victories. Although there’s been no official word from the promotion, that hasn’t stopped DraftKings from posting odds on the potential bout.
DraftKings opened Luque (21-7-1 MMA, 14-3 UFC) as a -235 favorite on Sept. 2. As of early this morning (9/8), Luque was down to a -210 ‘chalk,’ with Diaz at +175 on the comeback.
Luque, a 29-year-old Brazilian, is off a first-round submission win over Michael Chiesa (D’Arce Choke) last month at UFC 265. It was Chiesa’s first loss as a welterweight after winning his first four scraps since moving up to the 170-pound loop.
Back on Aug. 18, Diaz sent out an Instagram post with the caption, “Defending in December.”
After Luque’s win over Chiesa, he respectfully called out Diaz in his postfight presser. Diaz recently posted that interview on Twitter and responded with a fist emoji or knuckles as if to imply, “sounds good.”
In his last 16 Octagon appearances, Luque has compiled a 14-2 record with 13 finishes, including eight knockouts and five submissions. His only two defeats have come in decision losses to Leon Edwards and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Edwards is 9-0 with one no-contest since December of 2015 and his last loss came against current welterweight kingpin Kamaru Usman.
Luque’s most notable career scalps include victories over the likes of Thiago Santos, Belal Muhammad, Niko Price (twice), Mike Perry, Tyron Woodley and Chiesa.
The 36-year-old Diaz (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC) is off a unanimous-decision loss (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) to Edwards in June at UFC 263. Edwards dominated the first four rounds, but he got rocked by a Diaz combination with more than a minute left in the fifth and final stanza.
Edwards appeared to be out on his feet as he backed up toward the fence. Diaz spent the final 60-plus seconds attempting to land the finishing shot.
However, Edwards remained poised and did a decent job of slowing Diaz down with clinch attempts. Diaz was able to get through with several more powerful shots that still had Edwards dazed, but he eventually ran out of time.
At his post-fight presser, Diaz said, “If that’s a real fight, that was a wrap. That dude was sleepwalking out there.”
Even in defeat, Diaz had provided the packed house in Glendale, AZ., with the most thrilling moment of the night. His efforts were met with raucous approval from the fans and, if anything, the 209 product only added to his legendary status.
Only time will tell if Luque vs. Diaz comes to fruition but one thing is for certain: UFC fans can’t get enough of Diaz and are starving for his next booking.