Nick Diaz pretty much kept himself out of the public eye over the last five years in hiatus. Save for that lengthy interview he did with ESPN in November 2019, fans mainly got updates through his social media posts.
You can’t out-drink Nick. He’ll make you go to sleep, brother. The first time I ever got drunk, blacked out, was at Nick’s. He freaking Jedi mind tricked me man. I swear, he just kept passing me Jameson. Boom, boom, boom! Next thing I know, I woke up in the shower, naked.
This week, Diaz’s manager revealed plans about a possible return in early 2021. And in preparation for that, close teammate Jake Shields says the 37-year-old veteran made a major lifestyle switch after a period of decadence.
“I think maybe there was one point where he got a little out of control,” Shields told SiriusXM (transcript by Middle Easy). “But we knew that he would be back in. People gotta realize, I’ve been partying since I was 14. So for me it’s like, I’d have a fight, party, it was normal.
"I think we're seeing the old Nick coming back." @jakeshieldsajj talks about Nick Diaz's partying days, and says that Nick has reined that part of his life in ahead of a potential MMA return. @RyanMcKinnell @MieshaTate pic.twitter.com/Lz4fBBRbD5— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) September 10, 2020
“But Nick never drank, never did anything other than smoke pot obviously. He was completely dedicated to just train, train, train. So I think while he did go that way for a little bit, got a little out of control, he’s reigning it back in.
“I think he’s got that part of his life over, he’s not out in Vegas all the time anymore, he’s back training. I think we’re seeing the old Nick coming back.”
According to Shields, Diaz is also looking for the right deal that will have him duly compensated.
“I think the only big sticking point with him is money, because he knows he’s a big star and wants to get paid,” Shields said of his long-time comrade. “He doesn’t want to get ripped off. We all know people are going to tune in for a Nick Diaz pay-per-view. Dana can act like that’s not true but everyone knows people want to watch him fight.”
Bookies already released odds on Diaz’s possible opponent for his return. Leading the pack is “BMF” champion Jorge Masvidal, followed by Robbie Lawler, Conor McGregor and Carlos Condit.