When UFC booked Leon Edwards vs Nate Diaz, most fans would think that the fight did not make sense. In one corner, Edwards is currently #3 ranked welterweight and is riding on 8 fight win streak and he is fighting fan favorite but unranked Nate Diaz that is coming off a loss.
Another fight Edwards accepted that may not even improve his ranking if he wins. For those who are not aware, Edwards was offered to fight rising prospect Khamzat Chimaev who was unranked at that time, and he accepted the bout but did not happen due to COVID issues.
Edwards then accepted to fight Belal Muhammad on short notice. Muhammad may have been on a four fight win but he was still low ranked that it doesn’t make sense for Edwards’s current rankings. Basically Edwards’s last fights would not improved his rankings, considering he wins and if he loses it would have been huge downgrade.
As for Nate Diaz, he has not fought since 2019 and it was for the BMF belt. He lost via doctor stoppage against Jorge Masvidal. Diaz was still ready to fight but to health concern, they had no choice but to stop the fight.
In terms of Diaz’s chances, he might going in as a heavy underdog. His last performance were not that good and Diaz is a lightweight fighting the bigger guys. Leon Edwards is a natural welterweight that hasn’t loss in quite a while, and his last lost was against the current champion, Kamaru Usman.
Diaz brothers were already a big name in the MMA game, but Nate Diaz’s biggest fight was when he took the short notice fight against Conor McGregor. During that time, McGregor was undefeated in the UFC and coming off a 13 second KO win against Jose Aldo.
Diaz certainly does not deserve to fight a highly ranked welterweight like Edwards, but who could blame him. The starpower of Diaz simply attracts a lot of casual fans, that UFC wants to push Diaz to a higher ranked fight. Diaz might be one of the popular stars despite coming off a loss.