Morning Report: Diego Sanchez calls for bare-knuckle match against Nate Diaz: ‘The little b**** ends up buckling’

UFC 279: Diaz v Ferguson
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Diego Sanchez wants to enter the Nate Diaz sweepstakes.

It’s hard to find bigger fan favorites than two of The Ultimate Fighter’s very first winners in Season 1’s Sanchez and Season 5’s Diaz. Despite each having decade-plus long careers in the UFC, they somehow never crossed paths at either lightweight or welterweight.

In 2023, both fighters’ time has passed inside the octagon and boxing appears to be the next move. For Sanchez, his debut is confirmed — it just comes in the bare-knuckle fashion on Feb. 17 against Austin Trout at BKFC: KnuckleMania 3. Should Sanchez get past Trout, he has one clear target in mind.

“Nate won’t fight me because I beat his bigger brother and he idolizes his bigger brother in this weird way,” Sanchez told MMA Junkie. “I’ve been trying to fight Nate for 10 years. If this performance can be so epic and so powerful and dominant — and it will be — I have a chance at snagging that Nate Diaz fight. That’s always the fight I wanted, too, because if I beat Nate, then I’m the first guy to ever beat both Diaz brothers.

“You the real G, Nate? Then take off the gloves, homie. Real Gs don’t wear gloves, homie. Real Gs get down in the street — bone to bone, knuckle to knuckle, and the little b**** ends up buckling.”

Sanchez and Diaz’s older brother Nick met all the way back in Nov. 2005 in what was Sanchez’s third bout in the promotion. The bout was Diaz’s sixth (15th overall) and saw him drop a unanimous decision.

MMA has seemingly been put in the rear-view mirror for Sanchez after a March 2022 unanimous decision defeat to Kevin Lee. Meanwhile, Diaz is currently considered one of the hottest free agents in all of combat sports. Essentially, business is business at the end of the day, and the “Nightmare” predicts his fellow TUF winner to do what’s best for his bank account.

“I’m telling you all right now: Nate is just like everybody else in combat sports,” Sanchez said. “We’re all just trying to get the highest payday we could get. … So he’s got Conor McGregor, Jake Paul and he’s got Floyd Mayweather. He’s got those three fights that could possibly be big, huge paydays for him.”


Negotiations. Francis Ngannou’s head coach recounts aftermath of meeting with Dana White prior to becoming free agent

Legend. ‘A true samurai’: MMA stars react to the farewell of Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua

Numbers. Dana White’s Power Slap debuts to 295k average viewers on TBS

Encounter. Neil Magny on training with Khamzat Chimaev: ‘I f***** around and found out

Insurance. Gilbert Burns says after watching ‘scary’ Damar Hamlin injury that MMA promotions need to provide better healthcare, benefits for fighters

Development. UFC partners with company that flagged suspicious betting activity linked to James Krause scandal

Debut. Greg Hardy books first bare-knuckle fight against Josh Watson at BKFC KnuckleMania 3


Between the Links.

Embedded 4.

UFC 283 Hype.

The Big Nog legacy.

Craig vs. Walker preview.

Shogun’s best fights.

Burns’ greatest hits.

Octagon flashback.

PFL Challenger Series: Heavyweights.


DAMN! They Were Good. MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew, Shaheen Al-Shatti, and Guilherme Cruz remember the legendary career of Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua before he makes his final walk.

Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses which MMA promotion Francis Ngannou should sign with.





Needs more Venum.





Not surprising.


Comeback season…?!

All the single legs.

No belt needed.


Junior Tafa (5-3) vs. Waldo Cortes-Acosta (9-0); UFC 284, Feb. 11

Jack Shore (16-1) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (17-8); UFC 286, March 18

Raul Rosas Jr. (7-0) vs. Christian Rodriguez (8-1); UFC 287, April 8


Of all the callouts I wasn’t expecting. It’s actually pretty crazy that they never ended up fighting.

Happy Friday and thanks for reading! Have a great weekend, everyone.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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