Nick Diaz will indeed return to the Octagon at UFC 235 on March 2nd against Jorge Masvidal.
That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who confirmed the fight was on during the UFC 231 post-fight press conference. But it’s worth noting: the way he confirmed it didn’t exactly inspire a whole lot of confidence.
”Somebody was just telling me earlier that we didn’t announce that?” White asked. “As far as I know, sitting right here right now, that fight’s on. Yeah, as far as I know, that fight is on. I’ve been here since Tuesday. Unless something happened since Tuesday, which is very possible, it’s on.”
White first told ESPN back in mid-November that a scrap between Masvidal and Diaz was close to being finalized, but since then we’ve heard precious little. Masvidal has mentioned the fight at least once on Twitter, but Nick has remained completely radio silent about the fight on his social media accounts. As it stands, it looks like he’s just chillin’ with his homies and continuing to make weed shop appearances.
That’s not very promising, especially since the last two years have been an endless parade of White offering the Diaz brothers fights and then acting confused and surprised when they turn them down. To hear him explain it, the Diaz brothers simply don’t want to fight. To hear the Diaz brothers explain it, the UFC isn’t willing to pay them what they’re worth.
So we’ve been stuck in a war of attrition, waiting to see who will crack first. Did the UFC end up adding a little something something to Nick’s paycheck? Or did Nick’s bank account finally run dry after four years of not fighting, forcing him back at the shitty non-headliner rate? We don’t know why Nick suddenly decided to accept a relatively small-fry undercard match with Masvidal in March, which just feeds the fan paranoia that something isn’t quite right with the bout.
Adding to the general sense of skepticism we feel whenever Diaz brother comebacks are discussed, White admitted the UFC was back to square zero on getting little brother Nate back in the cage.
Nate signed on to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 230 and then immediately got pissed when the UFC lumped him in with 13 other fighters for a general UFC 25th Anniversary press conference. Even after back to back record-breaking fights with Conor McGregor, the UFC wasn’t interested in presenting Diaz as a star attraction.
Instead, they relegated his fight to co-main status under a hastily arranged fight for the vacant women’s flyweight belt. When Poirier was injured in training soon after, Nate happily took the opportunity to nope off the card. And now both sides seem completely disinterested in trying to make another fight happen.
”We got nothing going on with Nate,” White confirmed.
So what do you think, Maniacs? Are we going to see Nick Diaz in the cage come March? Or is this just the latest episode in As The Diaz Brothers Turn, the world’s least satisfying MMA soap opera?