UFC 296 fight week has officially arrived and, as is a usual occurrence for the UFC, the promotion has uploaded a few throwback fights. As the fight week festivities get underway, these fights will keep fans entertained and one such uploaded fight is the 2021 bout between Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz.
Edwards is the current UFC welterweight champion, having dethroned longtime titleholder, Kamaru Usman, in August 2022. On December 16, at UFC 296, 'Rocky' makes his second title defense. This time, against Colby 'Chaos' Covington.
Covington last fight was at UFC 272 against Jorge Masvidal, a match that 'Chaos' won. Despite his absence from active competition, Covington has remained a permanent fixture in the UFC conversation, even stepping up as the back-up fighter for the Edwards vs. Usman III match at UFC 286.
Prior to moving on to the highly-anticipated match-up between Edwards and Covington this weekend, we can go back to a time before Edwards was the champion. When Edwards had the classic match against Diaz.
Watch Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz for free
The UFC 263 event took place on June 12, 2021 and featured two title fights, with Israel Adesanya successfully defending the middleweight title against Marvin Vettori. That bout was preluded by Brandon Moreno successfully challenging Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight title in their second meeting.
Before those two title fights took place, history was made when Edwards and Diaz met on the same card. The pair were originally meant to meet on the PPV prior, UFC 262, but an injury resulted in their fight being delayed.
This was the first time in UFC history that a non-title and non-main-event match had five rounds assigned to it, and the two made the most of all available rounds. The two went the distance and Edwards ultimately walked away with the unanimous decision victory.
That match put Edwards directly on the fast-track to challenging Usman, and becoming the king of the 170-pound division. That match was the beginning of the rise of 'Rocky'.