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Nick Diaz opens as betting underdog against Jorge Masvidal for UFC 235 return

UFC 183: Silva v Diaz Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

If this week’s reports are true and Nick Diaz makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon at UFC 235 this March against Jorge Masvidal then the Stockton native will enter his comeback fight as a betting underdog.

That’s according to oddsmakers at BetOnline, who currently have Diaz slated as a +135 underdog. Masvidal, on the other hand, is already coming in as a -155 favorite.

Do these odds come as a surprise? Well, they probably shouldn’t.

Despite accomplishing more than most throughout his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career, including a welterweight title under the Strikeforce banner, Diaz hasn’t fought since battling the great Anderson Silva to a no contest back at UFC 183 nearly four years ago. In addition to his lengthy layoff — courtesy of a failed drug test and legal troubles — Diaz hasn’t captured victory inside of the cage since finishing B.J. Penn in a Fight of the Night performance back in 2011.

That’s a very long time for any fighter, especially one who turned 35 this past August.

Masvidal, who is currently ranked No. 9 in the UFC’s welterweight division, may be coming off back-to-back defeats to former title challengers Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson, but he has fought a whopping nine times since Diaz last stepped foot inside of the Octagon. “Gambred” has a losing record of 4-5 during that span, but four of those losses came via split decision. Masvidal was also able to finish veterans Donald Cerrone, Jake Ellenberger, and Cezar Ferreira along the way.

For now, Diaz will approach the new year as a betting underdog. But as we’ve come to see, these numbers tend to change as the fight draws closer, especially when it comes to a verbal assassin like Diaz.

UFC 235 will take place on Mar. 2 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and currently has no main event in place. Diaz vs. Masvidal, should the fight be finalized, would presumably serve as the co-main event.

Stick with Mania for more UFC 235 fight card news.

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