With the 18-month suspension Nick Diaz has been under since UFC 183 last January almost up, Fighters Only picks out five fights that would be ideal for his return.
Following a post-fight drug test failure for marijuana metabolites, the Stockton, California bad boy was initially slapped with a ludicrous five-year ban by the Nevada State Athletic Commission last September. However, following a public outcry, an online petition (which received enough signatures to be looked at by the White House) and eventually being heard through the appeal process, the NSAC eventually settled on a year-and-a-half suspension and a $100,000 fine.
With that back dated to January 31st of 2015, the night of UFC 183, Diaz is now just days away from being eligible to fight again. FO reviews the UFC landscape and came up with the five cool fights that would offer the perfect platform for the 209’s favourite son to return.
Georges St Pierre
History: Defeated Diaz via unanimous decision at UFC 158 in Montreal, Canada in March 2013.
At a time when rematches seem to be very much in favour, why not re-ignite one of the fiercest rivalries in UFC history. The return of Diaz could only be trumped by the announcement the greatest welterweight champion of all time, GSP, was officially making his own return to arms. Just last month GSP said he was ready to return to the cage after a self imposed three-year hiatus. With both fighters coming back from lengthy lay-offs it would be as fair as it gets with regards to cage rust and provide Diaz with the opportunity to even the score. When it comes to draws in the fight game there’s not much bigger than GSP vs. Diaz, as their first fight was reported to have topped over one million PPV buys. To say Diaz wasn’t impressed with GSP’s performance after their first fight would be an understatement, claiming the Canadian fighter was on steroids and missed weight. With all the makings of a blockbuster rematch this makes a lot of sense from a competitive point of view as well as box office.
History: Lawler was knocked out by Diaz at UFC 47 in Las Vegas back in April 2004.
The UFC welterweight champion is set to defend his title against Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 next weekend, but if the UFC is willing to put on Michael Bisping vs Dan Henderson 2 then why not take a page out of the same playbook and match Lawler – win, lose or draw next weekend – with Diaz again. During the UFC 200 post event FS1 broadcast, UFC president Dana White said the Bisping vs. Henderson rematch was, “A fight that the champ wants. It’s a fight that the fans want.” So with that in mind I’m sure you’d be hard pressed to find a MMA fan who wouldn’t want to watch Diaz and Lawler throw down. What’s in it for the gamp? Well, the Diaz fight wouldn’t just present Lawler with the opportunity for revenge 12 years later but also a chance to cash in at the box office.
History: Defeated Diaz via unanimous decision at UFC 143 in Las Vegas in February 2012.
Carlos Condit may well be booked to take on Demian Maia at UFC on Fox 21, which takes place on August 27th in Vancouver, however, earlier this year he claimed there were only two fights that he’d be willing to return for. The first would be a rematch against current UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and the other would be against Nick Diaz. Although victorious in their first encounter, which spawned the famous, “oh we’re throwing spinning sh*t now?” line by Diaz in response to Condit’s spinning leg kicks and elbows, it seems as if ‘The Natural Born Killer’ wants to re-write some history. In the post fight interview Diaz criticised Condit’s performance. “That ain’t right,” Diaz said. “I pushed him back the whole fight… I think I’m done with this MMA… I don’t need this s**t!”
Could Nick Diaz return to fight at middleweight like he did at UFC 183 versus Anderson Silva? Why not. Following Bisping’s unanimous decision victory over Anderson Silva earlier this year in London the current UFC middleweight champion took to social media and outright asked Diaz for a fight after he was done with his suspension. Although Bisping is currently set to face Dan Henderson later this year don’t count out the idea of two of the best trash talkers in the game going at it somewhere down the line.
History: None. Unless you count the fact Nick’s baby bro choked out Notorious in March and they’re rematching next month.
With UFC 196, headlined by Conor and Nate Diaz, smashing all sorts of metrics and Dana White stating the event pulled in 1.5 million PPV buys, the rematch which goes down at UFC 202 on August 20th was a no brainer. Whether Nate wins or loses, who’s to say older brother Nick can’t get in on some of the action with The brash Irishman? The UFC featherweight champion is about to go into his second consecutive fight at 170lbs and with Nick having fought welterweight for the majority of his career this isn’t quite out of the realm of possibility – especially if Conor gets revenge next month.
What do you think?
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