Two of the most vibrant personalities in the sport of mixed martial arts could well find themselves sharing the octagon if things play out as we hope they do.
The former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz has been sorely missed in his absence from the bright lights of the UFC following his unanimous decision loss to Anderson Silva (that was later declared a no-contest) back in 2015 but with his USADA suspension now officially lifted, we’ve been hoping and praying that he decides to bring his electric pace and pressure back to the octagon in the near future.
Diaz, who has remained tight-lipped on his return, posted the following picture to his official Instagram in the days that followed the expiration of his ban.
It ain’t much, but it’s definitely something that can be taken as a positive for those who are dying to see Stockton’s finest once again. Welterweight is nothing short of an absolute shark-tank right now but Diaz has been renowned as one of the sport’s most game athletes for quite some time.
One matchup that has caused some minor waves in the rumour mill in recent weeks has been one featuring Nick and the former middleweight champion of the world, Michael Bisping. The Count’s last outing saw him lose out in brutal fashion to Kelvin Gastelum but even with him now hovering in a state of semi-retirement, he recently made it known that he would compete again under the right circumstances.
Bisping spoke to MMAFighting yesterday and while he didn’t exactly seem completely adamant that he would fight again, he did stress that a showdown with the elder Diaz brother would be a fitting end to his own memorable career.
“I’m probably retired. I know I’m driving everyone crazy with this. Certainly reporters ask me all the time but I don’t know. If something comes along, great but I need to make my mind up and make that official and move on with the rest of my life or get a fight. I was supposed to fight in London, it never happened. Book me a fight and let’s go. If not, f**k it, let’s move on.
“Here’s the thing, Nick Diaz is one of the legends of the sport. The guy is one of the original, old-school fighters and what I like about Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz, they’re real fighters. They are real fighters and they come to fight every time. They’re always entertaining and they say a lot of controversial s**t but they’re real fighters. They’re not trying to pretend to be something. They don’t do MMA because they think it’s cool. They’re not jumping on the bandwagon. It’s who they are.
“The only issue is that if I do fight I want it at 205lbs and I don’t think Nick would do 205. Making 185 for the last 10 years has been so hard. Making 185lbs is not an easy task, not an easy task at all, so if I’m going to fight one more time, it’s gonna be at light heavyweight. Or I’d do a catchweight, maybe at 195lbs or whatever but making 185lbs for me is too hard. So if Nick would be willing to come up, I’ll do it. I’ll accept. I’m down. I’m in. Sign me up.
“Nick Diaz, if you’re listening and you want to fight again, give me a shout, pal, because I’m down. If you’re willing eat some food and put some pounds on, then let’s do this my brother.”
Not much else is known about the fighting future of Nick Diaz. Both he and Nate are well known for keeping their cards close to their chest and while we’re sure that factors outside of weight and opponents are in play, the amount of time that Nick has spent out of action has seen much of the speculation about his eventual return cool off.
One thing that is for sure, though, is that if these two did ever manage to get it on, the resulting bout and, of course, the build-up that precedes it would be legendary.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena