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Jon Anik pitches Dustin Poirier as Nate Diaz’s return fight

Jon Anik would like to see Nate Diaz handle some unfinished business if he comes back to the UFC.

Diaz called out welterweight champion Leon Edwards after defeating Jorge Masvidal by majority decision in their boxing match this past Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Anik isn’t sure if Diaz should be fighting the upper echelon in the UFC, but sees multiple entertaining options for him. He likes what he saw out of the Stockton superstar against Masvidal.

“Nate Diaz back in the UFC, I don’t know to what extent that is possible in short order, but it’s very encouraging that that is one of the first things sort of on the tip of his tongue,” Anik said on his “Anik & Florian Podcast.”

“Far be it for anyone to bet against this guy in a high-profile setting against an elite fighter. Yeah, there’s certain matchups, right? Maybe you don’t like him against Sean Brady, but there are plenty of matchups that are good for Nate Diaz. Conor McGregor is another fight, and I think he’s got a lot of fight left.”

Anik suggested Dustin Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC), who contemplated retirement after his submission loss to lightweight champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 302. However since then, “The Diamond” has teased his itch to compete again.

Poirier and Diaz have history. Their November 2018 fight booking fell through, and the pair have since tried numerous times to get their fight rescheduled. Poirier mentioned in July 2023 that he’d be willing to welcome Diaz back to the UFC.

“Dustin Poirier and I were talking at UFC 303 as he was there doing the television work,” Anik said. “There just aren’t that many fights right now for Dustin. It seems like he has the appetite to go out on a win. … Right now, Dustin Poirier’s last fight was an undisputed championship loss to Islam Makhachev.

“Dustin has intimated that he wants to fight one more time, and on the very short list of opponents that actually makes some fiscal and competitive sense is Nate Diaz. So, we’ll see if that is something that actually materializes.”

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