The world of MMA may be getting yet another high profile return in the near future.
The controversial Nick Diaz announced that he is training to fight once again after previously stating he was done with MMA. If you are unfamiliar with Nick but recognize the Diaz name, it is because he is indeed the brother of also controversial fighter Nate Diaz.
The Diaz name has been in the spotlight of the MMA world for the better part of the past decade and they are making waves once again.
Here’s what to look forward to should Nick return to MMA.
Similar to his brother Nate, Nick is a brash, outspoken, and fan-friendly fighter who’s stand-up skills and crisp ground game can excite any group of fans. Nick is also a high-quality trash talker which does wonders for crowd investment. Similar to our Brock Lesnar article last week, it is unlikely Nick would be immediately inserted into a title fight seeing as his last fight was in 2015 and was ruled a no contest. Speaking of that 2015 bout, that brought about some setbacks for Nick to return to the sport.
Nick was facing the legendary Anderson Silva in a high profile Middleweight bout back in 2015. This bout landed not only Nick but Silva in hot water as well. Both Nick and Silva tested positive for banned substances following the bout which Silva had initially won. Silva tested positive for performance enhancers, whereas Diaz tested positive for marijuana. Nick Diaz has an interesting relationship with weed because, on numerous occasions, it has cost him win, money, and suspensions. Because this was not Nick’s first suspension for weed, the Nevada State Athletic Commission came down on him hard. Diaz was initially suspended for five years and fined $165,000.
The suspension was eventually reduced to 18 months and $100,000 which is still ludicrous. Diaz has since paid the fines and his suspension has run out, but he will still have to spend four months in the USADA testing pool before he can officially compete. Even with the more relaxed regulations for marijuana implemented by USADA, Diaz will be under the microscope upon a return.
Who Would He Face?
Then the question of who Nick would face will arise.
Before that, however, we have to know what weight class Nick would fight in. Nick has fought at both Middleweight and Welterweight during his time in the UFC. At an older age, Nick may want to avoid cutting weight and stick to 185, but the allure of fighting in the weight class where he made his name may entice Nick to cut the weight. Now as for which fighter Nick may face, we have to look at the facts. Nick lost his last three bouts before his most recent, the aforementioned Silva fight, was overturned to a no contest.
Now despite three straight losses, they were against three of the greatest fighters in MMA history. George St. Pierre and Anderson Silva have legitimate claims to be the best fighter ever, certainly the best fighters in their weight class’ history. The third loss was to interim Welterweight Champion and perennial top contender, at the time, Carlos Condit. There is no shame in any of those losses for Diaz. However, when taking into account three straight losses and a five-year layoff, Diaz cannot be put against a top contender in either the Welterweight or Middleweight divisions.
Diaz is undoubted, one of the best fighters on the planet. And as the saying goes, there are no “warm-up fights” in the UFC. Diaz will have to prove his worth against a ranked opponent.
Feasibly, Diaz should be taking on an opponent ranked somewhere in the 8-15 region of either division. A personal vote would be a rematch with Robbie Lawler, a fight that first took place all the way back in 2004.
What do you think about a Nick Diaz return?
Featured Image: Sherdog