Almost immediately after his split-decision loss to Gray “The Bully” Maynard in their headline fight at Ultimate Fight Night 20: Maynard Vs. Diaz, lightweight Nate Diaz (11-5) started talking about making a move up in weight to test his skills in the 170lbs weight class of the UFC. Diaz, who sometimes walks around at 190lbs between fights, pointed to the drastic weight cut as one of the reasons his performances at 155lbs have been inconsistent. MMAJunkie.com is reporting that he will get his chance to fight at welterweight on the undercard of UFC 111: St. Pierre Vs. Hardy where he will take on Rory Markham (16-5).
Markham is coming off of an achilles tendon injury that forced him out of a scheduled UFC 108 bout with Martin Kampmann. In his last appearance at UFC 95 Markham was felled by welterweight title challenger Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy. Regardless, he will not be an easy fight for Diaz, who looks to have his hands full in his first fight in one of the deepest divisions in the UFC.
As of now the scheduled card looks like this:
-Ricardo Funch Vs. Matthew Riddle
-Tomasz Drwal Vs. Rousimar Palhares
-Jared Hamman Vs. Rodney Wallace
-Fabricio Camoes Vs. Kurt Pellegrino
-Ricardo Almeida Vs. Matt Brown
-Nate Diaz Vs. Rory Markham
Main Card Bouts
-Mark Bocek Vs. Jim Miller
-Martin Kampmann Vs. Ben Saunders
-Shane Carwin Vs. Frank Mir (Interim Heavyweight Title)
-Georges St. Pierre Vs. Dan Hardy (Welterweight Title)
Also rumored for the main card is a highly anticipated rematch between Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves. UFC 111 will take place on March 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.