Nick Diaz may be returning to the Octagon as early as next year.
In a series of tweets from ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, it was revealed that Diaz recently completed a test weight cut because he is preparing to fight again. His manager, Kevin Mubenga, said that Diaz will be keeping a “close eye” on a number of upcoming fights in the welterweight division.
Diaz is said to be between 165 and 175 pounds following his weight cut.
... he is keeping a close eye on the big welterweight fights coming up. He is “100%” planning on fighting again, per Mubenga, and is targeting an early 2021 return. ( @elfrogito)— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 7, 2020
This is not the first time Diaz has been linked to a return to competition. In an interview with the aforementioned Helwani, Diaz spoke about his desire to come back against fellow welterweight standout, Jorge Masvidal right after his fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 244.
A fight between Diaz and Masvidal was allegedly supposed to happen at UFC 235, but it did not come together after talks between Diaz and the UFC brass fell apart. A few months later, Nate and Masvidal signed up to fight each other for the one and only “Baddest Mother F**ker” (BMF) title.
Diaz (26-9-2) last competed in January 2015 at UFC 183, where he took on former middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the main event of the card. Diaz went all five rounds with Silva but lost a unanimous decision that would then be overturned to a No Contest due to both men failing post-fight drug tests.
After being handed a five-year suspension and $165,000 fine from the Nevada State Athletic Comission (NSAC), Diaz filed and later won an appeal to get both his suspension and fine reduced and was free to compete in August 2016. Another setback in the form of a one-year whereabouts sanction from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) kept Diaz away from competing for a little while longer, but everything was ultimately resolved by April 2018.
In his time away from the sport it was said that Diaz was retired from mixed martial arts, but that no longer seems to be the case. His last win was against B.J. Penn back in 2011.