Jake Shields Provides Update On Nick Diaz’s Targeted Return

Jake Shields’ longtime friend and teammate, Nick Diaz, is apparently in the right mental frame of mind as he works towards a UFC comeback.

Diaz returned to the Octagon in 2021, facing Robbie Lawler at UFC 266. He lost the fight via TKO but looked impressive given the fact he hadn’t fought since 2015.

Diaz, despite the wishes of UFC President Dana White, is targeting a return to the UFC in 2023. He’s called out Israel Adesanya for his return, although it’s unlikely he’ll get his wish.

Diaz was originally targeting a return last year, but a fight didn’t come to fruition. He wanted a title shot despite the loss to Lawler and he ended 2022 without a booking.

Leading up to UFC 266, many questioned whether or not Diaz was fighting for the right reasons. Some felt that Diaz’s motivations for fighting were purely financial, and he appeared unhappy in numerous interviews.

Less than two years later, Diaz is apparently a completely different person than the one that fight fans saw at UFC 266.

Jake Shields: Nick Diaz “In Much Better Head Space” Than Last Fight

During a recent interview with Helen Yee, Shields revealed that Diaz is training hard in preparation for a fight.

“He’s been out here training again, which was good, because he wasn’t really training for the last camp,” Shields said of Diaz. “So he’s back out here. Not training crazy hard, but the fact that he’s back in the gym, training every day, much better head space, is great. Seeing Nick, he’s like a brother to me…it’s great to see him doing a lot better and I know all of the fans want to see him fight again. It would be great to see a comeback, but with a proper training camp.”

Diaz will likely have no shortage of opponents ready to face him upon his return. The idea of a matchup against Conor McGregor has been pitched, although it’s uncertain if Diaz will return at welterweight or middleweight.

Diaz’s last victory came against BJ Penn at UFC 137. He’s gone winless over his last four, including a loss to Anderson Silva that was later overturned to a no-contest.

A timeframe for Diaz’s return hasn’t been solidified. Although, by the sounds of Shields and others, it appears Diaz is laser-focused on a return to fighting.

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