It’s been almost a decade since Nick Diaz picked up a win in MMA. But, for a certain subset of MMA fandom, Stockton’s own still holds an undying place in their hearts. After all, still just 37-years-old, it seems as though there shouldn’t be any reason that Diaz would be physically unable to compete at a high level in mixed martial arts.
Diaz last fought in 2015, taking on middleweight legend Anderson Silva in a bout that had more the air of an exhibition than a high stakes contender’s fight. The ‘Spider’ won the bout by unanimous decision—the result later overturned to a ‘no contest’ due to a failed drug test. Since then, Diaz has largely left the combat sports world behind. But talk that he might be looking to make a return to the Octagon has persisted all along the way.
And that talk has only gotten louder in recent months, with Diaz’s manager, Kevin Mubenga teasing that there was a “99.999%” chance of the former Strikeforce champ fighting in 2021. Over on his YouTube channel, Nate even uploaded video of he and his brother training, part of what, Diaz’s manager claims has been a months long camp to get Nick back to fighting shape.
If that’s the sales pitch, however, UFC president Dana White has never sounded more than skeptical about the the whole idea of a Nick Diaz comeback. Speaking in a recent interview with the Schmo, White didn’t outright dismiss the idea, but downplayed any potential interest in seeing Diaz back in the Octagon again (transcript via Middle Easy).
“Everything that I see from Nick Diaz doesn’t look like Nick Diaz wants to or is ready to compete in this sport,” White said of the Diaz comeback reports. “This sport – even for Jon Jones, as good as Jon Jones is, you have to be 100 percent mentally, physically and emotionally ready to train, be ready for this and fight – and I just don’t think, I don’t know.
“I don’t think anybody should want to see Nick Diaz fight. Nick Diaz has been in a lot of wars, he’s accomplished a lot of great things in his career, he’s made a lot of money, he’s obviously super-famous. He’s gotten everything you could hope to get out of fighting. I just don’t know why, when I see his Instagram, why he would want to come back.”
In the time since Diaz last competed in Mixed Martial arts he and his brother have started their own supplement and CBD company with their “Game Up” line of products. Diaz also briefly tried his hand at event promotion way back in 2013, although WAR MMA closed after only one event. In his heyday, Diaz was a solid draw for the UFC, bringing in nearly a million buys as the B-side to Georges St. Pierre. But whether he can command the same interest, especially from White & Co., in 2020 remains to be seen.