Nick Diaz eyes return to action by the end of the year following contract negotiations

USA TODAY Sports

It's been over a year since Diaz last appeared inside the Octagon. While he says some negotiations still stand in the way, Diaz plans to return to the cage by the end of the year.

Since rejoining the UFC in 2011, Welterweight Nick Diaz has gone a disappointing 1-2 after three fights inside the Octagon. However, his record doesn't tell the whole story as Diaz has faced off against some of the best the promotion has to offer. He outworked former two-division champ B.J. Penn in his re-debut, followed that up with a controversial decision loss to Carlos Condit for the interim title, and most recently got dominated by former 170 lb. king Georges St. Pierre for a unanimous decision loss.

Despite being on a back-to-back losing streak, Diaz remains one of the UFC's biggest personalities. He pushed GSP to his biggest solo buyrate at UFC 158. Recently he has said that, while he doesn't enjoy the fight game, he's willing to continue his MMA career for the right price. This weekend he told Loretta Hunt of Sports Illustrated that he's eyeing a return to the Octagon in the relatively near future:

There's been a lot of action at the top of the 170 lb division since Diaz's last appearance, so it's hard to say who he's likely to face by the end of the year. A rematch with Carlos Condit isn't impossible, if Condit is able to recover from his knee injury by that time. Hector Lombard is coming off a big win over Jake Shields and would make an interesting fight. Finally, I don't think many would object to a rematch against Robbie Lawler at this point either. Regardless, whenever Diaz returns, there's going to be plenty of interesting match ups for Joe Silva to consider.

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