The road back to competition in the UFC is opening up for Nick Diaz. After his recent deal with the Nevada State Athletic Comission to shorten his suspension up from 5 years to 1.5 years, Nick Diaz has a short term future that can once again include fighting. The former welterweight title contender was recently down in Atlanta to take in the sights, run a BJJ seminar, and check out a local NFC MMA event. While there, MMA Mayhem TV caught up with the fighter to talk to him about his return to MMA:
"I'm gonna be fighting again soon, I guess it's looking like. This last year or so I've just been trying to make ends meet however I can in my off time. So, I'm just wrapping that up and getting back to training now..."
But, before he gets back in the Octagon, he's got a few other fighters to help with their training camps, and he's got an opponent to find:
"You know what, right now I'm just working on... I think my brother is probably going to be doing a fight before I am. So, I'm just working on the rest of the people I'm training with, on their camps. And then we gotta establish who I'll be fighting next. I'm only trying to go big, I'm not trying to do no small fights. So, if we're going to do any fights, we're going to do something big. But, for the most part, I'm just focusing on my younger brother right now and the rest of the academy out in Northern California; the rest of the guys I trian with, Team Black. "
When asked about a potential title fight (and second career bout) against current welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, however, Diaz was a little evasive. More than anything, he seemed to be upfront with the idea that the difficulties in fight promotion make it pretty hard to set up shots months out into the future.
"Yeah, you know what? Right now, I'm just looking at... I got all these options right now as to what people are coming at me with. 'Oh, you should do this, you should do this, you should do this.' So, right now I'm just... I'm working on me, I'm working on... You know, that's what I've been doing. It's like, it's not been a time off, it's been a very productive time for me in my life. It's the only time in my life I haven't been fighting 3-5 fights a year. So, I've got a lot done and right now I'm just trying to continue to do that until I actually do know who I'm fighting. Because, you're gonna be all here saying... First you're talking about, okay my brother is fighting Conor McGregor and then its... So, you never know. Usually, what they're talking about is gonna happen, but sometimes nowadays, the sport's been changing; you never know what's really gonna happen. You know, talk's talk, but we don't know who's fighting who or what's happening yet. Nothing's set. Everything's always last minute with any promotion.
"And they have a hard job. UFC, Dana White, anyone that's trying to throw... I tried to throw a little small time show, you know. I did something like this before and it's a hard job. You're going to be real busy with it. But, everything's last minute, so we'll see what happens."
Considering how much trouble the UFC has typically had keeping big fights together several months out into the future, Diaz may be right to be cautious. And that means MMA fans may have a few more months before they know against who, where, or when Diaz will be back in the cage.