British welterweight Leon Edwards will take on Conor McGregor’s old foe Nate Diaz at UFC 262 on May 15.
Edwards had been out of mixed martial arts for nearly 20 months, with several fights postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, by the time he took on late replacement Belal Muhammad in Las Vegas two-and-a-half weeks ago.
However, as he looked to strengthen his claims for a shot at 170lb champion Kamaru Usman, Edwards was left “heartbroken” after an accidental eye poke on Muhammad 18 seconds into the second round led to a no-contest.
There will be no immediate rematch, though, after the UFC announced Edwards will make a swift return to the octagon against Diaz, who has not fought since November 2019 when he lost to Jorge Masvidal for the symbolic ‘BMF’ belt.
Diaz, who has won 20 and lost 12 of his 32 professional MMA contests, famously handed McGregor his first UFC defeat five years ago, significantly raising his profile even though he was controversially outpointed in the return bout.
A win over the American at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, would put Edwards (18-3, with one no-contest) on course for a showdown against Usman, who is set to defend his crown against Masvidal at UFC 261 on April 24.