UFC lightweight Nate Diaz will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon later this year, as he has been scheduled to face Michael Johnson at an event in Orlando, Florida on December 19.

Diaz, who is 17-10 in his professional MMA career (12-8 in the UFC) hasn’t been seen in the Octagon since last December, where he suffered a TKO loss to current lightweight titlist Rafael Dos Anjos.

Johnson, who is 16-9 as a pro, recently had a four fight win streak snapped with a split decision loss to Beneil Dariush — a decision that many fans questioned. The Missouri native, who fights out of the Blackzilians camp in Florida, is 8-5 overall in the UFC.

So it will be a full calendar year since we’ve seen Diaz — but that doesn’t mean Diaz has stayed out of the headlines, of course.

The brash Stockton, California native recorded a memorable interview last month at UFC 188, where he boasted “All these MF’ers are scared.” Earlier this month at MMA World Series of Fighting 22 in Las Vegas, he and his brother Nick engaged in a backstage brawl with Khabib Nurmogomedov and his corner. As reported here at Caged Insider, both Nick and Nate are now banned from WSOF events.

The December 19 show will be headlined by Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone’s challenge for the lightweight title against champion Rafael Dos Anjos. The event will be held at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida and is said to be televised by Fox.