Nick Diaz could possibly be making his return to the cage in 2021.
In a recent interview, UFC President Dana White revealed that the Stockton Native from California could fight this year inside the famed Cctagon, admitting that he wasn’t too keen on the idea initially.
“I wasn’t very high on it. I didn’t think that it would happen, but it looks like it will,” White told Farah Hannoun in an interview with UFC Arabia.
White even joked about how he would usually brush off the idea of Diaz fighting again, but now it seems the UFC president has turned a corner and is interested in bringing back the UFC veteran Diaz.
“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.”
Back in April, Diaz and White discussed a possible return for the Stockton bad boy of MMA. However, despite having a “great” conversation, the UFC president was unsure whether Diaz really wanted to fight again, questioning his desire to return.
Last month, Diaz was seen training with WBC heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury in a very unlikely alliance adding fuel to the fire of his potential return.
The 37-year-old has not competed in MMA since 2015 when he faced Anderson Silva back in UFC 183. Diaz was subsequently suspended from the sport for five years by the NSAC after testing positive for marijuana use for the third time. After a public outcry, the suspension was reduced to 18 months, but the Stockton native has not returned since.
Despite the long layoff, fans have not lost hope for his return and are more eager than ever to see him fight again. This time, it seems that a return may become reality according to White.
“The matchmakers have (spoken to Diaz) and I don’t know where we’re at on it, but it’s looking promising,” White said.
A former Strikeforce champion, Diaz is the older brother of fan-favorite Nate Diaz, who faces Leon Edwards this weekend at UFC 263. Diaz has not recorded a win since 2011 when he defeated UFC legend B.J. Penn at UFC 137. He has wins over the likes of Robbie Lawler, Frank Shamrock, KJ Noons, and Paul Daley to name a few, and has faced the best fighters in the world in his career like Georges St-Pierre.
Do you believe Nick Diaz will return this year? And who do you think would be a good first opponent for the Stockton Native?