In just a few days, Nick Diaz will have gone a full two years without having a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bout. The former Strikeforce welterweight champion last competed against Anderson Silva at UFC 183.
The fight was initially a unanimous decision win in favor of “The Spider.” That changed to a no contest when both men tested positive for banned substances. In Diaz’s case, it was marijuana metabolites. In a move that was widely panned by fans and analysts, Diaz was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) for five years.
Diaz’s suspension was met with a slew of backlash. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) color commentator Joe Rogan called the suspension “idiotic.” NAC members even received death threats. Eventually, the suspension was reduced to 18 months, which Diaz has served and is now free to compete.
That doesn’t mean he’s going to throw leather at the snap of UFC President Dana White’s fingers.
Diaz says he will be returning “pretty soon” according to the LA Times. Before welterweight champion Tyron Woodley was booked in a title rematch with Stephen Thompson, there was talk of a match-up with Diaz. Woodley said the fight didn’t materialize because Diaz asked for more money.
Seeing how much his brother Nate made for his second fight with Conor McGregor ($2 million) probably didn’t do the UFC any favors during negotiations. In an interview with Jasta Radio (via Daily Star UK), Diaz said he wasn’t going to just plunge into any deal the UFC threw at him:
“Right now, I’m trying to fix my situation. If someone offered me a fight right now, it’s not going to happen. I’m not going to say (yes). I’m like, ‘no.’ I’m going to work my way into the right situation and once I’m there then we can talk about a fight.”