TORONTO -- It wasn't long after Nick Diaz
knocked out Paul Daley to retain his Strikeforce welterweight title when he was voicing a displeasure with the path of his MMA career. Diaz said he wants bigger fights, he wants more money, he wants it all.
His words haven't fallen on deaf ears. UFC president Dana White said that after this weekend's UFC 129 mega-event, one of his first priorities is meet with Diaz, discuss his concerns and find out what he can do to satisfy him. Even though White said that things would be "business as usual" after Zuffa bought Strikeforce, and that the UFC and Strikeforce brands would operate independently, it's already clear he's making exceptions where he sees fit.
"I'm going to sit down with him and we'll figure out what he wants to do," White said. "Listen, for the last 10 years, I've dealt with the craziest, the coolest, the baddest, the this, the that. I've always tried to make everybody happy. You can't make them all happy, but you can try. I'll sit down with Nick Diaz literally after this fight and try to figure out what's next for him."
The Stockton, California native has won 10 straight fights, and has only lost one of his last 16. The sole defeat came on a cut stoppage, and he later avenged the loss to KJ Noons. Diaz has moved up the welterweight rankings lists, but he's expressed disillusionment with MMA and has entertained the prospect of moving into the boxing world. In recent weeks, his camp has begun at least preliminary talks with former super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy
Whether or not it's a bluff or Diaz is truly intent on a career change is anyone's guess, but he has the contractual wiggle room to try it if he wants to.
"It's in his deal," White said. "It's in his deal that he can do it, absolutely."
White doesn't want that to happen though. Diaz is one of the best welterweight mixed martial artists in the world, and White will try to keep him in that line of business, to the benefit of both parties.