UFC president Dana White just changed his tune about Nick Diaz returning to the company to fight again. The UFC boss explained to Yahoo’s Kevin Iole in a recent interview that he kept telling Diaz ‘no’ but that the UFC star kept training anyway, so now White fully expects to see Diaz fight again in the UFC’s Octagon sometime during 2021.
“It’s looking like he might fight this year,” White said. “You know me, every time he asks me, I say no, no, no, no. But he actually might fight this year. We’ll see how this thing plays out.”
White said the same thing about Diaz in the various other interviews he did with the media this week, so it looks like Diaz is making a comeback to MMA.
So the UFC’s old plan for Diaz was for him to remain out of action, but its latest plan is to get Diaz another fight.
White told UFC Arabia’s Farah Hannoun that his matchmakers were already working on getting Diaz an opponent lined up.
“I don’t know where we’re at on it, but it’s looking promising,” White said per MMA Junkie.
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White Previously Suggested Rumors of Diaz Returning Were False
Rumors of Diaz’s return have been swirling for over a year now, but White’s most common response to journalists asking him about it until his latest shift was to say he didn’t think it would happen.
White told ESPN just last month about a recent sit-down with Diaz, “My whole thing with Nick Diaz is I just question how bad he really wants to fight.”
According to his latest posts on Instagram, Diaz does look like he wants to fight. The veteran MMA star appears to be in phenomenal shape.
But Diaz last competed inside the UFC’s Octagon way back in 2015 against Anderson Silva, so some pundits were skeptical about him getting back to form.
Most notably, that included White until just this week when suddenly the UFC boss began to seem way more positive about Diaz returning.
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White Assumes Diaz Will Return to Welterweight Division
Diaz’s last bout was contested in the UFC’s 185-pound middleweight division.
But White assumes Diaz is coming back to compete in his more natural weight class, welterweight.
“I’m assuming he’s going to come back at 170,” White said.
White went on to explain why he believes Diaz is set to return to the UFC’s 170-pound division.
“I don’t think you want to fight at 185 here. I get it. He wanted to do the Anderson Silva thing, but you don’t want to fight at 185 here. No way, especially after not fighting for six years. 170 is bad enough,” White said.
Kamaru Usman is the UFC’s current welterweight champion.
The Diaz Brothers Are Popular UFC Superstars
Diaz remains one of the most popular figures in the sport despite not competing in over five years.
His younger brother Nate Diaz, 36, is also one of the UFC’s most popular stars. In a separate interview conducted by Iole with Nate Diaz this week, the younger Diaz brother explained why he believes he and his brother remain so popular with fans.
“It’s not hard just to not be lame. That’s what I think about it,” Nate Diaz said.
Nick Diaz would return to the world of professional fighting riding a three-fight winless streak. He suffered a no-contest against Silva, as well as two title fight losses to Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit.
Diaz’s last win was against BJ Penn in 2011. When he defeated Penn by unanimous decision at UFC 137, Diaz was riding an 11-fight win streak.
Now, Diaz will hope to get back to his winning ways again.
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