Good thing Nate Diaz didn’t actually skip out on his fight
with Gray Maynard in favor of attending his 10-year high school
Instead of catching up with old friends and casual
acquaintances, the talented lightweight from “The 209”
was inside the Octagon, staggering Maynard with a short left hand
to kick off an offensive assault that ultimately ended with Diaz
earning a first-round stoppage win over his familiar foe.
Following back-to-back losses, Saturday’s blistering
performance against Maynard has returned Diaz to the Top 5 in the
lightweight division in the latest iteration of the UFC Rankings.
The media voters elevated the 28-year-old Diaz three spots to No. 5
in the incredibly deep 155-pound ranks, while Maynard falls three
places to land at No. 8 following his second straight first-round
Diaz, who proclaimed himself and friend/training partner Gilbert
Melendez the top two lightweights in the organization during a
classic post-fight interview with Jon Anik, leapfrogs surging
emerging contenders Rafael dos Anjos and Khabib Nurmagomedov, each
of whom could be potential opponents for the Stockton,
California-based fighter next time out.
While there were very few additional changes to the remaining
rankings following Saturday’s Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey
vs. Team Tate finale, the two adjustments in the welterweight
division make little sense… not that rankings always make
Inexplicably, Rory MacDonald swapped places with Robbie Lawler,
the Canadian climbing to No. 3 in the 170-pound ranks despite the
fact that the resurgent veteran just earned a split decision
victory over “Ares” at UFC 167.
Additionally, Matt Brown – he of the six-fight winning
streak heading into next weekend’s UFC on FOX showdown with
Carlos Condit – dropped one place to No. 9 in the division,
while Martin Kampmann climbed to No. 8 despite having lost two
straight and not having another fight booked as of this