Nick Diaz Returns to the UFC
Former Strikeforce Welterweight champion Nick Diaz has agreed to a three fight contract to return to the UFC.
Return of the Prodigal Son
Nick Diaz (26-9 with 13 KOs and 9 submissions) was one of the UFC’s most popular fighters. But shortly after being routed by Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158 last March, Diaz abruptly retired from the sport. By age 30, it was clear that Diaz was far from done in the Octagon. In fact, he may have retired in his prime and at the height of his popularity.
Diaz was always a fight away from returning. Last March, UFC president Dana White offered him a rematch with Carlos Condit at UFC 171 but he turned it down by saying that he would only return for a title fight. In recent months though, Diaz had been hinting that he will return for a big fight. And maybe that’s what’s prompted him to put the pen to paper.
When Anderson Silva started training after his leg surgery, he told the media that he was eyeing a December return and that he had no plans of fighting Chris Weidman a third time. However, Silva and his camp blurted out Nick Diaz as a possible opponent. The UFC wasted no time in securing a contract for Diaz. And although UFC President Dana White has refused to confirm that a bout with Silva is in the air, Nick’s targeted 2015 return has an eerie coincidence with the new expected return of Anderson Silva which is February 2015.
Diaz has also expressed his interest in fighting Anderson Silva. He said that Silva will be “a good fight for the people” because Anderson has “his style.” It will also be a sure big money fight for Diaz who is looking for a huge win to put his name back into title contention.
Nick Diaz is in a UFC slump. He’s lost his last two fights to Carlos Condit and St. Pierre. He is 1-2 in the UFC since coming over from the Strikeforce promotion in 2011. Diaz was the Strikeforce Welterweight champion in 2010 and defended his belt three times before vacating it to transfer to the UFC. Diaz had an auspicious UFC debut when he defeated the iconic former two division champion B.J. Penn by unanimous decision at UFC 137.
Diaz will join a loaded welterweight division whose new champion is Johny Hendricks. Diaz was in attendance at UFC 171 when Hendricks and Robbie Lawler fought for the title vacated by St. Pierre. He was even seen heckling at the new champion during the title fight.
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