Dana White on UFC Superstar’s Return: ‘Wants to Fight’

Nick Diaz & Anderson Silva

Getty Nick Diaz (L) and Anderson Silva fight in a middleweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 31, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

During the UFC 261 pay-per-view broadcast on Saturday night, MMA superstar Nick Diaz was shown in the audience. And according to UFC president Dana White, he’s ready to fight.

Diaz (26-9, 2 no-contest) hasn’t competed since 2015 when he fought former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Diaz teased his return to the Octagon late in 2020, but fight fans haven’t heard much since.

That changed after the fights on Saturday.

White was asked by the media during post-fight presser about Diaz’s appearance at UFC 261, and the UFC president confirmed Diaz wasn’t just there to spectate.

“Yeah, Nick wants to fight,” White said.

White was then asked if he was going to give Diaz a fight and the UFC president responded, “Sure.”

In terms of an opponent and date, White said, “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 is the former Strikeforce welterweight champion and has a professional MMA career that dates back to 2001. He’s been in the cage with some of the greatest fighters ever, including former UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre and former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion BJ Penn.

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Diaz Successfully Completed a Diet & Training System In September

In September, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani shared a video of Diaz, reporting that Diaz had successfully finished a diet and training regimen. Helwani said Diaz was planning on fighting in the UFC welterweight division, hoping to return in “early 2021.”

“This is Nick Diaz earlier today,” Helwani tweeted. “He weighs in the 175-165 pound range, per his manager Kevin Mubenga. He just completed a 14-week diet and training regimen. 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 last fought at 170 pounds when he challenged Georges St-Pierre in 2013 for the welterweight title. He lost the contest via unanimous decision.

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UFC 261 Results

Here are the full fight-card results for UFC 261.

Main Card
Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal via second-round KO
Rose Namajunas def. Weili Zhang via first-round KO
Valentina Shevchenko def. Jessica Andrade via second-round TKO
Uriah Hall def. Chris Weidman via first-round TKO
Anthony Smith def. Jimmy Crute via first-round TKO

Preliminary Card
Randy Brown def. Alex Oliveira via first-round submission
Dwight Grant def. Stefan Sekulic via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Brendan Allen def. Karl Roberson via first-round submission
Patrick Sabatini def. Tristan Connelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Early Preliminary Card
Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad via first-round TKO
Kazula Vargas def. Rong Zhu via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
Jeffrey Molina def. Aoriqileng via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Ariane Carnelossi def. Na Liang via second-round TKO

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