It looks like Nick Diaz will be making a return to the UFC after all.
The 37-year-old former Strikeforce champion and former UFC title challenger attended UFC 261 in Florida this past April and met with UFC President Dana White to express his interest in fighting again. However, as he often has over the years, White questioned whether or not the older Diaz brother was legitimately interested in resuming his career.
To White’s credit, Diaz hasn’t competed since suffering a loss to Anderson Silva in 2015 that was later overturned to a no contest. Before that, he had lost back-to-back fights to former titleholders Carlos Condit and Georges St. Pierre. The Stockton native hasn’t had his hand raised since scoring a decision victory over former two-division champion BJ Penn in 2011.
However, despite his usual reluctance when speaking about Diaz’s willingness to return to the Octagon, White has seemed to change his tune on the situation recently.
“You never hear me say that, ever,” White joked. “You say, ‘Do you think Nick Diaz will fight this year?,’ and ‘absolutely, positively not’ is what I usually say.”
Although he hasn’t competed in years, Diaz has been active on social media in recent months, showcasing his training regimen and appearing to be in tip-top shape. Additionally, his manager Kevin Mubenga, said late last year that a return for Diaz was likely if the “money is right and the opponent is right”.
As of now, an opponent has not yet been selected, but for the first time in quite a while, it looks like one of Stockton’s favorite sons will be competing sooner rather than later.
“The matchmakers have (spoken to Diaz), and I don’t know where we’re at on it, but it’s looking promising,” White said.
Long Island-based sports writer covering MMA, Boxing, and the New York Jets.