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Nate Diaz Next Fight Picks After BMF Defeat at UFC 244

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 02: Nate Diaz of the United States fights against Jorge Masvidal (not pictured) of the United States in the Welterweight "BMF" championship bout during UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on November 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Nate Diaz is a mystical ninja liable to jump out of any number of trees you might walk past today, so he has the kind of folk hero status that transcends mere wins and losses. The essence of that mythic status was distilled into the BMF championship belt fashioned for his main event showdown with Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244; unfortunately, it all ended in a defeat via highly questionable doctor stoppage. To say the conclusion was premature is an understatement.

Despite the L, it's clear that fight fans will be impatiently awaiting Nate Diaz's next fight, because the guy basically lost zero clout here. And while running back the BMF bout is an intriguing option, that's far from the only possibility the UFC needs to consider.

1. Completing the Conor McGregor Trilogy

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26:  Conor McGregor holds up a cup of his Notorious-branded Irish whiskey as he speaks during a news conference following his 10th-round TKO loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their super welterweight boxing match at T-Mobile Arena on August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Well, sure. But at this point, does Conor really want that Nick Diaz Army smoke? As Masvidal noted late Saturday night, the Notorious MMA fights old men in bars because those are the bouts he knows he can win. He was clearly running away from contact at the end of their second fight, so Nasty Nate has to like his chances a third time around.

2. Robbie Lawler

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 25: Robbie Lawler speaks to fans and media during the UFC 189 World Championship Press Tour at Flames Central on March 25, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
UFC 189 World Championship Press Tour - Calgary | Derek Leung/Getty Images

Like Diaz, Robbie Lawler has been around the block, he'll be remembered for a long time, and he's not in the legitimate mix for a welterweight title. This fight would be a fun co-main event on a pay-per-view between two guys who have seen it all.

3. Jorge Masvidal BMF Rematch

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 02: Jorge Masvidal of the United States (R) speaks to Nate Diaz of the United States after he is awarded victory by TKO on a medical stoppage against in the Welterweight "BMF" championship bout during UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on November 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
UFC 244 Masvidal v Diaz | Steven Ryan/Getty Images

It's tempting in many ways, but UFC 244's headliner did feel a lot like a one-off affair. Dana White and Co. aren't likely to want to parade around the BMF belt indefinitely, and it's not like The Rock is available at the drop of a hat. This thing ended way too abruptly for satisfaction, but you can bet Masvidal will be strongly prioritizing a 170-pound title shot against the Kamaru Usman-Colby Covington winner.

4. Leon Edwards

UFC mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone (L) of the US fights against Leon 'Rocky' Edwards (R) of Britain during the UFC Fight night in Singapore on June 23, 2018. - A sick US mixed martial arts star Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone failed in his bid to make history in Singapore on June 23 after he was beaten by his younger British opponent via unanimous decision. (Photo by Nicholas YEO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS YEO/AFP via Getty Images)

SOMEONE has to fight Leon Edwards! Seriously, this guy is the loneliest man in the world. He appeared to be on a collision course with Masvidal before the BMF train gained steam. If he can't cook something up with a guy like Tyron Woodley, he ought to be open to a clash with Diaz.