Free at last.
Yesterday, Nick Diaz's year-and-a-half suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission officially expired meaning Diaz is once again free to compete in sanctioned MMA. Diaz is a fan favorite beloved, for both his in-cage prowess and his eccentric personality, making his return has been heavily anticipated by many in the MMA community. Never one to disappoint, Diaz wasted little time in generating interest in whatever awaits him by speaking with Brett Okamoto of ESPN about his fighting future.
"We're going to have to sit down and have a look at what fans want to see. I'm on top right now. I'm on top of this game. There ain't no giving me a shot. I'm giving somebody a shot. If anybody's getting a shot, somebody's getting a shot against me because I'm the guy to beat."
Diaz last fight was a loss to Anderson Silva in January of 2015 that was later turned into a no-contest. Prior to that he lost a title fight against Georges St-Pierre and an interim title fight against Carlos Condit. His last win came in October of 2011 when he defeated former lightweight champion B.J. Penn via three-round decision. Despite his recent record, after UFC 201 new champion Tyron Woodley called out Diaz for a title fight at UFC 202. But Diaz doesn't seem particularly interested in that fight.
"I don't need to fight. There's no reason for me to come and fight for fun. I don't do that. That's not what I do. I don't like to hurt people for fun. And I like Tyron Woodley and I like Robbie Lawler so can we talk about a reason about why I should be out to get somebody?
"What are you guys gonna do for me? I can't help you. You can't help yourself. You need to go help yourself and then maybe after you do that we can have some sort of deal."
It appears that Diaz is another fighter on board with the increasing trend of fighters only wanting the most marketable, biggest money opponents. In fact, it was this same justification which led Woodley to call out Diaz. For his part, Diaz appears to view himself as too big a fight for the current welterweight champion who has never established himself as a pay-per-view draw and who just won the title at one of the more unheralded UFC pay-per-views this year.
"I don't see a superstar out there. I don't see Georges St-Pierre coming back. He's too scared to come back and do a fight with me and the rest of these guys are not superstars. Who are they? I don't even want to say their name because no one even heard it yet until I say something and now everybody knows who the guy is."
Though Diaz says he doesn't believe St-Pierre is coming back, St-Pierre is adamant he will return and just recently announced that he would be interested in the proposed fight with Woodley. Like Diaz, St-Pierre says that he is looking for big fights but obviously he believes competing for the welterweight championship qualifies.
Diaz's disinterest in Woodley may come down to his fixation on a St-Pierre fight, a rematch from their 2013 bout in which Diaz felt he wasn't treated fairly.
"When I fought Georges St-Pierre in Canada - first of all, somebody freakin' drugged me. That guy didn't make weight. The commission comes up to me and tells me that he's not gonna make weight. And whether it's a pound or not a pound it doesn't matter. In Las Vegas - if the fight had been where it should have been - they would've not only drug tested us but there is no pound allowance so he would have had to make his full weight.
"And I've never been in the best shape of my life like that, ever, and then went out there and just completely zapped like that. There was something funny about that fight. I'm just saying, I didn't get my fair shot...I remember they drug tested us we all pissed into a film case and they put scotch tape over top. That was the USADA over there."
If St-Pierre really is only interested in the biggest fights, it's possible Diaz gets his wish. But even if he doesn't get the St-Pierre fight, there is sure to be no shortage of opponents looking to get Stockton slapped, including current middleweight champion Michael Bisping. But regardless of who Diaz fights next, it's good to have Nick back in the game.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Comeback. Georges St-Pierre says he's interested in a fight with Tyron Woodley.
Godfather. Nick Diaz says he'd fight Tyron Woodley at UFC 202 if the UFC "made him an offer he can't refuse."
Election. The ABC is set to vote on new MMA rules for grounded fighter and eye pokes.
Counting. Khabib Nurmagomedov says Eddie Alvarez only has one UFC victory.
High Road. Ian McCall responds to Justin Scoggins' trash talk after failing to make weight.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Fixer Upper. For The Ringer, Chuck Mindenhall and David Shoemaker discuss how they'd fix the UFC.
A pair of free fights.
T-Wood trashing Nick Diaz.
The Menace has a vlog.
The Brit Pack back at it again with 201 stuff.
T-Wood trying to get paid.
Mark Hunt is never gonna stop coming at them.
Out of competition testing get the fuck out of here with that bullshit— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) August 1, 2016
Don't fucken waste my time with your bullshit testing ok why are u even testing when u fuckers don't do shit...https://t.co/MS8HROBKQC— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) August 1, 2016
just glad he doesnt hit me. https://t.co/zBYwH2hyCN— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) July 31, 2016
You have to know 100% what is going in and on your body during training. https://t.co/ZZqP0E9vro— michael (@bisping) August 1, 2016
Bisping reponds to DC.
Funny guy DC. Bring it :) https://t.co/cfQWXvrmrH— michael (@bisping) August 1, 2016
Looks like Khabib is getting the next shot. Can't wait.
So Alvarerez says that I never fight with top fighters and talking about my pro record. I'm not sure where he gets that information, but when I fight vs Tibau he was ranked 15, when I fight vs Tavares, he was considered as best Brazilian lightweight, Pat Healy was ranked 10, when I fight RDA he was #5. My last fight, I suppose to face Tony Ferguson who is ranked #3, but he got injured and pulled out, I asked for any light and welterweight fighter for replacement, including Alvarerez, but nobody accept. But your ass, Eddie, got kicked in first UFC fight by cowboy, second fight you won Melendez by split decision, but all experts believes you lost that one unanimously. Third one you win Pettis by split decision and after that you get title shot. You beat RDA without question. Do you really believe, that with that only one UFC victory, you are great fighter and can dictate your terms? I don't think so. Remember, with or without the belt, I will hunt you down. Your name in my blacklist. Альварез говорит что я не дрался с топами и что то говорит про мой проф рекорд, не знаю откуда он берет эту информацию, когда я дрался с Тибау он входил в топ 15, а на момент боя с Таваресом он считался лучшим бойцом Бразилии, а Хили был на 10 строчке рейтинга, РДА на момент боя со мной занимал 5 строчку рейтинга, в крайнем бою я должен был встретиться с Фергюсоном который занимает 3 строчку рейтинга, но он слетел с боя и это не мои проблемы, на замену ему я просил любого топового бойца как в 70 так и в 77 кг, и в том числе Альвареза вызывал, но не нашлось никого. А тебе Альварез в первом бою Ковбой надрал задницу, второй бой ты выграл раздельным решение у Мелендеза хотя все эксперты считают что ты проиграл этот бой единогласно, третий бой ты выграл также раздельным решением у Петиса и после этого тебе дали бой за пояс с РДА, и бой с РДА ты выграл без вопросов, и вот с этой одной победой в ЮФС и ты думаешь что ты великий и можешь диктовать условия, я так не думаю, и знай будет пояс у тебя или нет я тебя буду преследовать, ты в моем черном списке. #Alvarezwhereareyou ❓
Showtime is back at Jackson-Wink
McCall handled this pretty well.
Walt Harris (8-4-0) vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov (16-3-0); UFC Fight Night 96, October 1.
Kevin Ferguson Jr. (0-0) vs. Johnny Tomasian (0-0); Bellator 160, August 26.
Joey Davis (0-0) vs. Keith Cutrone (0-0); Bellator 160, August 26.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2014: Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes were supposed to rematch at UFC 176, but the event was ultimately cancelled when Aldo withdrew from the bout with an injury. It was only the second time in UFC history an event was cancelled. The fights scheduled for this event were shifted to other cards and and Aldo and Mendes eventually fought at UFC 179.
I think I speak for everyone when I say, welcome back Nick Diaz. The sport is a more interesting place with you actively competing and talking.
I hope yesterday was great and today is even better. Until tomorrow M.Rmy.
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