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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier thinks Michael Chandler is the right opponent for Nate Diaz: ‘I think this is the best matchup for Nate’

UFC 274: Oliveira v Gaethje Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Daniel Cormier believes that Nate Diaz may have finally found the perfect opponent for his final UFC fight.

This past weekend, Michael Chandler stole the show, turning in a Knockout of the Year contender when he flatlined Tony Ferguson with a front kick at UFC 274. Following his win, Chandler called for a fight with Charles Oliveira or Conor McGregor, but it was the man who called him out that got Chandler’s attention. On Tuesday, Nate Diaz took to Twitter where he told the UFC to send him a contract to fight Chandler, something Chandler was quick to run with as well. And for soon-to-be UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier, it was the exact right callout for Diaz.

“I think Nate Diaz has finally got it right,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “Nate Diaz has finally got a target that gives him the best chance for success. You know who it is? It’s my boy Michael Chandler.

“After what Chandler did to Tony Ferguson, I still look at the matchup, and within that matchup I see places for Nathan Diaz to find success. Why? We saw Tony Ferguson, for the first time in many, many fights, land something significant on someone, knocking my boy Chandler down. Why? My boy Chandler kind of stands in front of people. If you know Nathan Diaz, he’s constant pressure, he’s in your face, he’s boxing you up, and he’s long...

“I know Michael Chandler is a ton of bricks, he’s a monster for the weight class, but if Diaz can go up to 170, be tough enough and durable enough to go 25 minutes with Leon Edwards and lose pretty much the whole fight and then hurt him at the end in the way that he did, he can fight a 155-pounder at 170. He’s not depleting himself so much that everything Mike throws at him will hurt him...

“I’m not by any means saying this is an easy fight for either guy. I’m saying that in all the matchups that we have seen Diaz tied to, this is the one that I think he has the most chances to find sustained success. Mike’s a tad bit shorter, Mike is really good at striking, and as you know with wrestlers, once we learn to strike ... it’s all we want to do. So you’ll see Chandler strike for extended periods of time, which plays into Diaz’s favor.”

Diaz has not fought since June of 2021, a loss to Leon Edwards, but it’s not for lack of trying. Diaz has repeatedly angled for fights, most notably against Dustin Poirier, but with the Stockton native on the final fight of his current UFC deal, the company appears unwilling to book that matchup, despite both men calling for it. Instead, rumors have circulated that the UFC is hoping to book Diaz in a trilogy bout against Conor McGregor, when McGregor returns from his injury. However, with that timeline still unset, and Diaz seemingly not being interested in the bout, Chandler could present a good backup plan for the organization as the former Bellator lightweight champion has quickly established himself as a star inside the UFC. And Cormier believes it is time for the Diaz and the UFC to get the ball rolling.

“Now, can Michael Chandler dominate Nathan Diaz? Absolutely. But I think in this matchup, I think this is the best matchup for Nate to try to find success, because he’s a massive name, but even when you’re a massive name, you have to have a name that stands alongside you that brings something to the equation. That’s why you don’t see Diaz just coming in and fighting anybody. After what Mike did last weekend, Michael Chandler is deserving to stand across the octagon against one of the biggest stars in the UFC...

“If I’m Nate Diaz, and as unhappy as he has seemed for all this time, I’m calling the UFC right now and saying, ‘Hey, let me get Michael Chandler. That’s the fight I want.’ And if I’m not too stupid, I think the UFC would be happy to oblige and put it on one of those big cards in July, August, where those guys can go out there and put on a show because it’s going to be an absolute barnburner. So Nate Diaz, call the UFC. I’m sure they’ll listen.”


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