The MMA community held its collective breath when Ariel Helwani announced a special one guest episode of the MMA Hour to air on Wednesday, May 3.
Speculation ran rampant on who the guest would be and what major announcement would deem worthy of a special Helwani show. Fans didn't have to wait very long for the answer to the first part of the question.
Helwani announced #NateDiaz as the special guest, which only adds to the speculation of what may be announced during the episode.
While everyone waits to hear exactly what Diaz will say, we've decided to put together a list of the 5 most likely reasons Diaz is scheduled for a special MMA Hour appearance.
1. McGregor vs. Diaz 3
Before everyone jumps up and says that #ConorMcGregor is waiting for Mayweather and nothing will change that, let's point out that the McGregor is a competitor at heart and a businessman in mind. Also, does McGregor ever anticipate losing?
The answer is no. That mentality is why taking the Diaz trilogy fight while waiting for McGregor could be a tactic the perfect move to further his leverage in the #FloydMayweather negotiations. Many expect the Diaz trilogy fight to break UFC PPV records, which McGregor can possibly leverage into another $10 million or more from Mayweather for a possible September fight.
Diaz obviously makes another multi-million dollar purse and leaves happy, win or lose.
2. Woodley vs. Diaz for the welterweight title
#TyronWoodley has openly proclaimed that he would be defending his UFC welterweight title at UFC 213. The problem? He didn't have an opponent in mind and the rest of the division's top-5 is pretty well booked.
Nate Diaz, on the other hand, is not. Diaz lost his last welterweight fight to Conor McGregor, but the UFC has shown that MMA logic takes a back seat to earning potential. Diaz is the big money fight Woodley has been chasing and, for Diaz, a loss to a heavier opponent doesn't hurt his chances at a future McGregor trilogy fight. A victory, on the other hand, gives McGregor the opportunity to become the UFC's first three-division champion upon his return to the sport.
3. Diaz vs. Ferguson for the interim lightweight title
#TonyFerguson was scheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 209, but Nurmagomedov's weight issues caused a late cancellation of the bout and left Ferguson in limbo. A victory would've guaranteed him a future fight against current lightweight champion Conor McGregor and a huge payday. Instead, Ferguson is left waiting around in a division with no other true title contender.
That is unless you consider Diaz a title contender. Both of Diaz's fights against McGregor came at welterweight, but holding the only UFC victory over McGregor holds a lot of weight. Don't be surprised to see Diaz take a stab at the interim title and boost his earning potential in a trilogy fight with McGregor by adding the "champion vs. champion" narrative.
4. Complaining about Dana White & his lack of fights
Joining the MMA Hour and complaining about #DanaWhite has seemingly gone hand in hand as of late. It's become as synonymous as peanut butter and jelly or chicken and beer. Cris #Cyborg, Al Iaquinta, #GSP, and most recently #AndersonSilva have all voiced their displeasure for White's matchmaking and favoritism. Diaz could very well join the group.
5. Announcing a boxing match
With Conor McGregor expected to fight Floyd Mayweather at some point in 2017, and Jimi Manuwa calling for a boxing match with David Haye, it's easy to forget that Nate Diaz has obtained a boxing license from the state of California. That license and Dana White's public support of a McGregor boxing match gives Nate more than enough reason to seek out a boxing match of his own. It'd be hard for the UFC to come up with a reason for allowing McGregor to cross sports, but not Diaz.