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Nate Diaz on next step: 'Maybe I'll sit on the sidelines until somebody gets injured, then fight for a title'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- Less than an hour after reentering his name into title contention with a ferocious knockout of Gray Maynard at Saturday night's TUF 18 Finale, Nate Diaz was already mulling over his next step.

"I'm thinking maybe I'll sit on the sidelines for a good long minute until somebody gets injured, and fight for a title like everybody else is doing," Diaz said at Saturday's post-fight press conference, prompting a chuckle from UFC President Dana White.

"I do have a lot of losses on my record, and other people have a lot criticism and s--t to talk about me losing fights. But if you take a look at my record compared to other people's record, for every two fights, I've fought six, seven times. So if they're fighting the same amount, and more consistent like I am, they're going to have more losses than me. So maybe I'll sit around for a while and wait for an injury to pop up."

More Coverage: TUF 18 Finale Results | UFC news
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Fighting against Maynard for the third time of his career, Diaz left little doubt who was the victor this time around, snapping a career-worst two-fight losing skid by stopping Maynard with a dizzying salvo of punches midway through the first round, forcing referee Yves Lavigne to call the fight with Maynard out on his feet.

"I'm glad that they stopped it when they did," Diaz said. "This is a rough sport and I don't think people should be taking shots. It's not like I want to kill that guy."

The finish marked Diaz's first knockout since 2010, though afterward the Stockton native bristled at the idea that he's turned a corner in regards to his punching power.

"I feel like I hit hard all the time," Diaz said. "Sometimes I just keep going and instead of being full blown power shots, I feel like maybe a lot more accurate punches will do. But if I slow it down and try to hit you hard, I'm going to hit you hard. It's not like I don't hit hard."

While Diaz had previously hinted that he may transition back up to the welterweight division regardless of Saturday's outcome, he was noncommittal by the end of the night.

Regardless, the extra $50,000 bonus Diaz pocketed for his 'Knockout of the Night' performance probably helped soothe any leftover hard feelings he may have had from being forced to skip his high school reunion.

"It would've been cool to go there," Diaz joked. "But I was broke so I had to show up."

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