Nick Diaz is ready to step back into the Octagon, and he wants to fight as soon as possible.
Diaz’s last fight in September 2021 was a tough one to watch for fans. He slowed down in the cage against Robbie Lawler and took a lot of damage before basically sitting down and refusing to continue 45 seconds into the third round. Afterward, his longtime coach Cesar Gracie revealed he had competed with two ruptured discs in his neck.
These days Nick is reportedly back in good shape and looking for some big fights. Recently he said he wanted to fight Israel Adesanya, and in a new interview filmed backstage at UFC 285 he repeated that request.
“I’m asking to fight as soon as possible,” Diaz told an Inside Fighting reporter, who joked he should face Jon Jones. “Not Jon Jones though… yeah, something like that [Israel Adesanya or Alex Pereira]. I always want to fight the best, you know? Not coming at Jon Jones or anything.”
Nick did confirm that he had wanted to fight Jones at a catchweight back in the day.
“Yeah, I was in good shape back then [in 2015],” he said. “That was at my strongest point.”
Nick might need to win a tune-up fight or two before the UFC decides to match him up against an Adesanya or Pereira. His bout against Robbie Lawler was his first since 2015, and there’s clearly some rust that the 39-year-old need to shake off. Whether there’s enough iron under that rust to hang in the UFC these days remains to be seen.
There’s no doubt that people would love to see the O.G. Diaz brother compete again ... hopefully against a realistic opponent he might beat? Is that too much to ask of the UFC? Or are they more likely to match him up against Khamzat Chimaev like they tried to do with his little brother Nate?
Let us know who you’d like to see Nick Diaz fight in his UFC return, Maniacs.