One of mixed martial arts’ longest hiatuses could be set to end after Dana White confirmed that Nick Diaz is close to returning to the UFC octagon.
The former Strikeforce welterweight champion, 37, hasn’t fought since he took on Anderson Silva in January 2015 in a fight which was declared a no-contest after both failed a post-fight drug test (for marijuana in Diaz’s case) but rumours of a potential comeback flared up last year when his manager declared that Diaz had returned to training and had completed a test weight cut.
Speculation subsequently quietened in the months following, until Dana White issued an update at last weekend’s UFC 261 post-fight press conference to say that he was shortly meeting with the elder Diaz brother to discuss a potential comeback fight.
“Nick wants to fight,” White said. “Sure, [we’ll give him one]. We’ll see how this goes. He’s waiting for me in the back right now. I’m going to go talk to him.”
Diaz, though, hasn’t won a fight in almost a decade since his decision win against B.J. Penn in October 2011 and it remains to be seen what type of force he would be in the welterweight dicision which has changed greatly since he last competed on it.
And as for who Diaz might face upon his return? Jorge Masvidal would certainly be an interesting choice in a follow-up to the ‘BMF’ title match he had with his brother Nate a couple of years back, but White also stated that it’s not out of the question that Diaz might face the division’s new rising star, Khamzat Chimaev.