WATCH: Nate Diaz Releases Training Footage Ahead of His UFC Return Against Leon Edwards

Published 05/18/2021, 12:33 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 02: Nate Diaz of the United States fights against Jorge Masvidal (not pictured) of the United States in the Welterweight “BMF” championship bout during UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on November 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)


Almost four weeks removed from the much anticipated UFC 263, Nate Diaz releases footage from his training camp on his YouTube channel. Diaz, who faces Leon Edwards in a 5-round bout at UFC 263, trains out of the Nick Diaz Academy based in the brothers’ hometown of Stockton, California.

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His brother Nick Diaz and the UFC vet Gilbert Melendez featured prominently in the training footage “Road 2 war: UFC 262 VLOG”. The elder Diaz held mitts for his younger brother in training. Whereas Melendez, the two-time Strikeforce Lightweight Champion, and a former WEC Lightweight Champion, took on Nate in kickboxing sparring.

Diaz’s form seems on point in camp from the looks of the footage. The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black belt displays excellent flow in his boxing combination, good hand speed from the footage released. Footage also showed Diaz doing pad work with his boxing coach, the legendary Richard Perez.

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Diaz, who is always good at generating attention for his fights, stirred the MMA world by showing off the shape that he is in ahead of UFC 263.

He is going to lock horns with a formidable foe in 3rd ranked welterweight Leon Edwards on June 13.

The welterweight’s last showing inside the octagon was back in November 2019, where he lost to the surging Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 via doctor’s stoppage. He showed interest in a couple of fights after UFC 244, but nothing really materialized. That changed when third-ranked welterweight contender Leon Edwards called him out on Twitter in February.

After their brief exchange on Twitter, Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards got booked as the co-main event of UFC 262.

 

The gritty vet or the surging contender: Who wins?

The fight between the due was to serve as the co-main event for UFC 262 for five rounds. It is the only non-title five-round fight to feature in any PPV for the UFC in the company’s history. However, Diaz had to pull out due to minor undisclosed injuries 12 days prior to the event. Following this, the fight got re-booked for the consecutive PPV.

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Diaz checks in as a sizeable underdog for the fight. Diaz comes into this fight having lost 5 of his last 9, with momentum clearly not on his side. Edwards, who is currently on an 8 fight win streak, is coming off a No contest in his last bout against Belal Muhammad.

Edwards is an aggressive striker who pushes a heavy pace on his opponents. He has been tearing through the welterweight division ever since his last defeat to the now champ Kamaru Usman. Diaz is renowned for his tremendous chin, exceptional Jiu-Jitsu, and boxing. He put such a pace on Anthony Pettis in their fight at UFC 241 that he had no answer.

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The winner of this fight could very well be next in line to face Kamaru Usman for his strap.

Do you think the TUF 5 winner could upset the surging contender in Edwards? Or would the challenge be too much for the vet? Let us know.

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Akshit Pushkarna

94 articles

Akshit Pushkarna, who has a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication, is an MMA writer for EssentiallySports. Before his current role, Akshit worked on the Urban Development beat at the Urban Update magazine. However, combat sports always called out to Akshit, who pursued both boxing and wrestling at a regional level before shifting his focus to MMA journalism.

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