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UFC welterweight Nick Diaz talks about his suspension, his Octagon return and what he thinks about Anderson Silva seeking to fulfill his legacy by fighting Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight Nick Diaz has never asked for any easy fights. If anything, he's only ever called out the top dogs. Love him or hate him, one thing he's not is a guy who backs down from a confrontation, in or out of the cage.
Since leaving Strikeforce in 2011, vacating his welterweight title and returning to the UFC Octagon, Diaz's goal has always been to garner himself a title fight, and he's never really cared if that opportunity came at 170 pounds or 185 pounds.
Unfortunately, he was his own worst enemy (as has often been the case), costing himself a title shot at UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, missing a few crucial press appearances and causing his boss, UFC President Dana White, to remove him from the fight as a consequence for his actions.
Diaz went on to fight Carlos Condit instead at UFC 143 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Feb. 4, 2012, in a bout that would determine the interim champion, which was necessary because of "GSP" having to take an extended hiatus to rehab his injured knee.
Diaz lost the fight, by way of a unanimous decision. It was a blow to him personally and to his career. To make things even worse, after the fight, it was revealed that Diaz had tested positive for marijuana metabolites, prompting the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to suspend him for 12 months, and he was also forced to relinquish 30 percent of his fight purse from the contest versus Condit.
The Cesar Gracie-trained fighter appeared on Spike TV's "MMA Uncensored Live," where he discussed his recent trials and tribulations. But, that's all he had on his mind.
During the interview, Diaz was asked what he thinks about the upcoming match up between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, on Oct. 13, 2012.
Here's what he had to say:
"If I was making a joke, like, 'Who are they gonna get to fight Anderson Silva, right now? Me or Stephan Bonnar?' it would have been a big, laughing matter. It's a joke. But, you know, that's what's happening at this point in time. So, that's fine. But, if I was Anderson Silva, and I'm on my way out of this sport, at 37 or whatever, I'm looking to do a couple more fights, if that. I'd want to fulfill my legacy. I'm not gonna be able to do that with Stephan Bonnar. That's just the way I see it."
It's a sentiment that has been shared by many in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community. Regardless of what he or anyone else thinks about the pairing, it's irrelevant, as Diaz couldn't fight Silva or anyone else right now, due to his current licensing situation.
In regard to his suspension, Diaz was asked about his ongoing appeal process. He wasn't interested in getting into the particulars, but he did say that he's chomping at the bit to get back into the cage:
"I'm not really focused too much on that. I'm just trying to live life like a normal person, right now. I've been fighting every three months, since I was 16, with some kind of suspension or break, so now, I'm just taking some time. I'm going crazy."
Though he may be going stir-crazy, Diaz isn't sitting around on the couch watching TV. He reiterated that he's in fighting shape, year round, and that he'll be good to go the moment that the NSAC gives him the green light:
"I'm always ready to fight. That's just me. I compete in triathlons and just overall fitness, year round. I'm always trying to make improvements, as I grow older, just trying to improve my overall athleticism. I'm always ready to do something that's worthwhile."
Who Diaz will fight in his return to the cage is still very much up in the air, but if you ask him, he will tell you that he deserves a title fight, at least until someone is able to prove otherwise:
"Until I take an ass whooping. I don't see a lot of people making it out of this sport without getting smashed down, you know what I mean? They're gonna put 'em in there, and somebody's gonna do 'em in, sooner or later, before they make their way out of the sport. you can't say I'm on top, but you really can't say I'm not."
For more information about Nick Diaz and his current suspension and appeal process click here.