Morning Report: Cesar Gracie says Nick Diaz has an 'offer on the table' for UFC return

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Who didn't see this one coming? Apparently Nick Diaz's year-long suspension lasted longer than his flirtation with retirement, because barely four months after his loss to Georges St-Pierre, Stockton's favorite son already has a bout agreement in his grasp.

"[Diaz] just got back (from Las Vegas) a couple of days ago. There is an offer on the table, that's all I can say," Diaz's trainer, Cesar Gracie, revealed to BJPenn.com on Wednesday.

"It's something everyone is looking at right now and discussing with him. Dana (White) has offered him a fight. There is an offer on the table, I can't say who it is, but it's kind of neat I think. But no decisions have been made for sure."

Despite his brief retirement, Diaz is still the No. 6 ranked welterweight on the UFC's official rankings. Just for funsies, here's the list of current top-10 170'ers without a scheduled opponent: Demian Maia (No. 5), Tarec Saffiedine (No. 8) and Josh Koscheck (No. 10).

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6 MUST-READ STORIES

Diaz's comeback. Cesar Gracie told BJPenn.com that Nick Diaz has an "offer on the table" to fight an unspecified opponent for his UFC return. No details were revealed about Diaz's prospective foe, however Gracie describe the match-up as "kind of neat."

Samman out, Howard in. TUF 17 runner-up Uriah Hall received yet another replacement opponent after former castmate Josh Samman dropped out of the pair's scheduled UFC Fight Night bout due to injury. In Samman's stead steps in veteran middleweight John "Doomsday" Howard, who racked up a 6-1 record since being cut by the UFC in mid-2011.

Hardy on sponsor tax. Dan Hardy opened up to BE's Steph Daniels about his heart condition, the problem with fighter pay plus a lot more, but the most interesting nugget came when the conversation turned to the UFC's sponsor tax: "That really hurt the fighters. I went from one fight, where I sold the space on the front of my shorts for $5000, to six months later, going back to the same company, and only getting an offer of $1500 because of the sponsor fee. ... You have a sponsor, and maybe they have $150,000 in their budget for the year for advertising. They have to pay $100,000 of that to the UFC. Now, that only leaves $50,000 for the fighters for the whole year. Everybody takes a pay cut apart from the UFC."

White rips Sports Illustrated. UFC President Dana White went off when asked about Sports Illustrated's recent roundtable discussion, which questioned whether Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman was a fixed fight.

Shamrocks end decade-long feud. The bad blood between the Shamrock family stretches back to the early days of mixed martial arts, but after more than a decade of mud slinging and potential meetings in the ring, Frank and Ken Shamrock finally made peace.

Manchester update. The UFC warned fans that its targeted October show in Manchester, England is not yet able to be confirmed "due to the many factors involved in hosting such a huge event.".

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MEDIA STEW

There's a lot to love in this rewind, but Mike Goldberg's look of utter disbelief around the 5:00 mark takes the cake. I'm sure he wasn't the only one sporting that expression.

(HT: Reddit)

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Well, that settles that.

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Knockem or Lockem is putting out some of the best highlight videos in BJJ, and their latest is no exception:

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This is a pretty wild find. Check out Oleg Taktarov and a bunch of other characters competing in a Bloodsport-esque tournament during the pre-UFC days. Seriously folks, there's even a 2-on-1.

(HT: Bloody Elbow)

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John Howard's first decree as a reborn UFC fighter? TEKKEN CHALLENGE!

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If you didn't see Leslie Smith and Jennifer Maia's bonus winning brawl at Invicta FC 6, man, you really need to watch this. Hell, watch it even if you did.

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If you're asking whether there's already an Anfernee Lettuce Twitter account, the answer is yes.

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STILL WORKIN' ON THAT SURGERY

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COMING HOME

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FRUSTRATION

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PERKS OF TRAINING AT BLACK HOUSE

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NOW ABOUT THAT TEKKEN CALLOUT...

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CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP

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BETTER THAN SCHAUB

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Wednesday, July 17, 2013):

  • UFC 163: Robert Drysdale (6-0) out with injury, Francimar Barosso (15-3) in against Ednaldo Oliveira (13-1-1)
  • UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen: Josh Samman (10-2) out with injury, John Howard (20-8) in against Uriah Hall (7-3)
  • Superior Challenge 9: Jens Pulver (27-18-1) vs. Sami Aziz (5-3-1) booked for main event
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    FANPOST OF THE DAY

    Today's Fanpost of the Day is a monstrous two-parter from LawrenceKenshin: In-depth Breakdown of: Rory Macdonald vs. Jake Ellenberger Part I and Part II. This is definitely worth your time.

    After doing this striking analysis, the match up appears to be much more dynamic and exciting than previously thought. It's true that Rory will utilize his straight punches to stop Jake before he even starts. It's also probably true that Firas Zahabi would caution him against kicking. But in the past few fights Rory has shown the willingness to trade and test most of his ranges.

    Even worse is that Rory consistently get backed up to the cage by opponents with a lesser base than Jake. And if Rory chooses to kick, he makes increasingly more exploitable tendencies. The amount of evidence in Rory's last two fights alone should allow Jake's camp to pick up some sound strategy.

    There are of course many other ways to win the fight by each fighter. For example, since Jake can low kick and right hook effectively, he can use an inside low kick (to plant the opponent) into a looping right hook over a jab / hand in a similar way Dan Henderson uses his signature move.

    And finally, we should not exclude the improbable: despite Jake being very dangerous in mid-range, Rory may decide to test and trade with Jake in the medium range; Rory may even get the better of the exchange due to setups; Jake may just come up over Rory's straight punches and by-pass his shoulder defence. Perhaps Rory even made corrections to these tendencies in the past 8 months, and Jake can somehow establish good straight punches now. Such probabilities inherently exist as they are elite professional athletes.

    This is exactly what makes this fight exciting. Due to the chaotic nature of combat sports and the styles that each fighter brings to the table, we can't be precisely sure of what we'll see. But what we do know is that both fighters have exactly what it takes to beat each other, and this is precisely why the art of striking is beautiful chaos.

    Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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