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Video: Svelte Nick Diaz completes test weight cut ahead of UFC return in 2021

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Former UFC welterweight No. 1 contender Nick Diaz, who wore the 170-pound strap for the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion, is planning to make his Octagon return at some point in 2021, probably because he misses competing (or the ability to pay his bills).

Perhaps both.

But before the Stockton slugger can lace ‘em up for a UFC comeback, he first needs to make sure his body will respond favorably to fight camp. That’s why Diaz recently endured a 14-week training and diet program to evaluate his level of fitness.

“He weighs in the 165-175 pound range, per his manager Kevin Mubenga,” Ariel Helwani wrote on Twitter. “This is the first time he cuts weight in approximately four years, Mubenga said. Diaz wanted to do a test cut because he is keeping a close eye on the big welterweight fights coming up. He is ‘100%’ planning on fighting again, per Mubenga, and is targeting an early 2021 return.”

Diaz (26-9, 2 NC) will first have to complete six-months of USADA drug testing, something that’s given him problems in the past. He’ll also need to get over the negotiating hump that nearly sent him to Bellator MMA the last time he contemplated a comeback.

It’s been more than five years since Diaz stepped foot inside the cage. In fact, the 37 year-old Californian has not registered a win in nearly a decade and will no doubt have something to prove against the new generation of welterweight contenders.

Unless he just starts with this overdue rematch.