Nate Diaz trades barbs with ‘good champion’ Kamaru Usman, criticizes Covington rematch

Nate Diaz returned to the Octagon this month after a lengthy spell on the sidelines. In his comeback fight, at UFC 263, he lost a decision to Leon Edwards, despite having the Brit in trouble in the fifth and final round.

Prior to the fight Diaz told anyone who would listen that, no matter the result against Edwards, he saw himself fighting for the welterweight title soon. Yesterday he took to Twitter to poke at the incumbent champion Kamaru Usman.

“Who dis guy fighting next? Someone he already koed,” wrote Diaz referring to Usman’s upcoming defence to Colby Covington. Usman defeated Covington by TKO in 2019, breaking his jaw in the process.

Usman was quick to respond, asking Diaz to contact UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell to arrange a date. “I see you 209. If you really want this 187 then call your boy hunter,” he wrote.

Diaz then fired back. “Ur locked down you do what ur told to do like a good champion,” he wrote above a picture of a bloodied and swollen Covington.

Usman again responded, doubling down on his advice that Diaz get in touch with Hunter Campbell.

“Key word “CHAMPION” lol. All you guys just internet tough guys nowadays. Like I said if you really want this pressure then holla at your boy hunter”.

The date or location for Usman vs. Covington 2 has not yet been announced. If it goes ahead this will be the second rematch Usman has faced in a row. At UFC 261 ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ faced Jorge Masvidal, who he defeated back at UFC 251 in 2020. In their most recent fight Usman KO’d Masvidal in the second round.

In addition to title defences versus Covington and Masvidal, Usman has also defeated Gilbert Burns. He won the welterweight crown by beating Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in 2019. He is currently undefeated in the UFC with a 19-1 overall record.

Diaz remains one of the most popular fighters in the sport. That’s despite his win-loss record over his past 10 contests being 4-6. That run began with back-to-back losses to Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson in 2012 and 2013. He beat Gray Maynard by TKO in 2013 and was then beaten by Rafael dos Anjos the following year.

After beating Michael Johnson in 2015, Diaz landed a short notice fight versus then UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor. Diaz famously won the bout, a non-title welterweight affair, by second round submission. Diaz then lost a split decision to McGregor when they rematched a few months later.

In 2019 Diaz returned from a three year absence to defeat Anthony Pettis at UFC 241. He then lost to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244, due to a cut.