If Nate Diaz is to be taken seriously, he may not be at his November 30th bout with Gray Maynard so that he can attend his high school reunion. Though that little twitter tidbit is news these days among the MMA press, UFC President Dana White seems to expect the rubber match between Diaz and Maynard to happen.
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Diaz won the first match when he choked Maynard out. Despite that win, Diaz was an underdog heading into the rematch, and Maynard was able to pull off a narrow win by Split Decision.
Diaz had won three fights in a row to earn a title shot against Benson Henderson. After losing in his title bid, he also lost his return fight when Josh Thomson took him out, so he is in need of a win to avoid a three fight skid.
Maynard is also in need of a win, since he is coming off a definitive loss to TJ Grant that catapulted Grant into the title picture and seemed to signal the end of Maynard as a title contender. Maynard is 34 years old at this point, and he may be losing some of the initial burst that he once had. He never got off against Grant, and in Diaz he has a familiar opponent to show what he has left.
It is a fight with a lot of potential for entertainment. Though still just 28 years old, Diaz is coming from being knocked out for the first time in his career, and that cannot sit well with his ego. Maynard will certainly be trying to pressure Diaz in the opening round, trying to take him out much the way he pressured Edgar in the first round of one of their bouts. If he cant do it, look for Diaz to try and pick him apart standing over the last two rounds.
Expect the lines for this fight to be a lot closer than they were for the second match when they are relased at the sport books. Be on the lookout.