UFC traditions will be altered when Nate Diaz faces Leon Edwards in a welterweight fight, not slotted in a leading or co-main event, nor a title fight. Although fans of the sport aren’t complaining about the decision, UFC President Dana White explained why the UFC would conduct the five-round contest.
Edwards vs. Diaz Announcement
In March, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani announced that #3 ranked welterweight Leon Edwards will take on a fan-favorite in Nate Diaz at UFC 262. However, the shocking part of the announcement was the additional information that the fight would be five rounds with no title implications or main event status.
Nathan Diaz vs. Leon Edwards is set for UFC 262 on May 15 in Houston, per sources.
And, in a twist, the fight will be the first five-round non-title co-main event in UFC history.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 31, 2021
“Nathan Diaz vs. Leon Edwards is set for UFC 262 on May 15 in Houston, per sources.
And, in a twist, the fight will be the first five-round non-title co-main event in UFC history,” wrote Helwani.
Dana White Explains 5 Round Fight for Edwards vs. Diaz
Recently speaking to the media, Dana White explained why the fight would be five rounds. The logic was quite simple; both fighters involved wanted the battle to be five rounds.
“They wanted to fight five rounds. It was easy,” Dana White said to Yahoo sports. “That’s what they (Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards) were scheduled for in the fight before (at UFC 262), too.”
Dana didn’t stop his explanation there. He dove deeper into the box-office magnitude of UFC 262, plus giving the fans what they deserve.
“If you look at the card, every Saturday night I compete with something, whether you gotta take your wife out to dinner or there’s a new movie coming out, whatever it is, there’s always something we compete with on Saturday. When you look at this card, you’ve got Adesanya vs. Vettori, you got Figueiredo vs. Moreno which was in the running for ‘Fight of the Year’ last year.”
“If Weili Zhang vs. Joanna (Jedrzejczyk) hadn’t happened, they would have won. Then you have Edwards vs. Diaz. I mean the card is ridiculous. It’s a great card, it’s stacked from top to bottom, and (Edwards vs. Diaz) should have an impact on the pay-per-view,” White said.
If White could make unique implications for Edwards vs Diaz, it could easily be made for fights in the future. Especially for fighters in the promotion who carry a name of high value.