Nate Diaz is finally returning to the Octagon, but when he makes his return at UFC on FOX 13, he certainly won’t be facing any can…
As you’ve likely heard, Diaz will take on Mr. Rafael dos Anjos, who is currently ranked #3 in the promotion’s 155 division. In fact, if it wasn’t for his decision loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in April, chances are dos Anjos would be next in line for a title shot.
After all, this is a man who stopped former champ Benson Henderson in his last outing, and holds wins over Donald Cerrone, Jason High, Evan Dunham and Mark Bocek among others. Since arriving in the UFC the Brazilian has gone 12-4. That’s not too shabby.
Of course, Diaz has demonstrated time and time again that he’s an elite 155’er as well, who reportedly asked for a top five contender (and got it). Well, in a recent interview with MMA Fighting.com, here is what dos Anjos had to say about the well rounded Diaz:
“I like to fight opponents that are taller than me. I think it’s a good match-up for me,” said dos Anjos. “His fighting style doesn’t help him. Keeping your hands low is dangerous. I will throw my hands hard on him. I’m going for the knockout – my third straight knockout.
“I will work with a lot of kicks, and he doesn’t kick that much. And I can also take him down and work on top. That’s the game plan.”
It’s true Diaz likes to hold his hands low, but catching the lanky fighter is another matter (yes, unless you’re Josh Thomson…). It will be interesting to see whether dos Anjos can hang with Diaz standing, and if his top game comes into play.
The 29 year-old also argued that since Nurmagomedov is injured, and that because he’s already defeated Cerrone, he should be next to challenge for the belt if he beats Diaz. One thing’s for sure, if dos Anjos goes out and scores an impressive victory on December 13th, he’ll be right there knocking on the title shot door.
UFC on FOX 13 will be hosted by the U.S. Airways Centre in Phoenix, Arizona, and will feature a heavyweight bout between Junior dos Santos and Stipe Miocic in the main event.