MMA fans who craved a potential Matt Brown versus Nick Diaz fight down the line will get the next best thing – Matt Brown vs. Nate Diaz. First scooped by MMA fan Jordan Colbert on Twitter then later confirmed by Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight, Diaz is back in the welterweight division for a UFC 189 showdown with “The Immortal” on July 11th.
Diaz (17-10) has dropped 3 of his last 4, although a pair of those lopsided defeats came against former champion Ben Henderson and current champion Rafael dos Anjos. The TUF 5 winner entering his 8th year with the UFC previously competed at welterweight from 2010-2011, although technically his “debut” vs. Rory Markham was a 177 lbs catchweight. Nevertheless, he thrashed Markham, then submitted Marcus Davis before losing decisions to Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald, which prompted him to move back to 155. After returning to lightweight, Diaz won 3 straight bouts to earn himself a title shot vs. Ben Henderson, which ended in a blowout loss. The 29-year-old’s latest trip to 170 comes on the heels of him missing weight by 4 lbs against dos Anjos last December, which he claimed was related to a training camp injury.
Brown (19-13) has lost two straight after a memorable 7-0 stretch from 2011 to early 2014 saw him in a #1 contender’s match-up with Robbie Lawler at UFC on Fox 12 in July. Unfortunately for Brown, he missed weight then lost the decision to the eventual welterweight champion. After a bout with Tarec Saffiedine fell through the cracks, Brown was paired up with ex-champ Johny Hendricks at UFC 185, but Brown was grounded via Hendricks’ takedowns on the regular and lost another decision. So while a championship doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now, a fight with high potential for entertainment versus the younger Diaz brother is in his future.
UFC 189 features two championship bouts, a welterweight title defense for Robbie Lawler against Rory MacDonald, and the highly anticipated featherweight clash between reigning champion Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. It’s expected that Diaz vs. Brown will air on the main card.
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