UFC star Nick Diaz says “absolutely not” to a comeback. And almost in the same breath, he puts his fate in the hands of his promoter.
”It’s not up to me,” said Diaz, who hasn’t fought since UFC 183 in 2015. “I’m like, ‘Do you want some? Because you can get it.’ I mean, generally, I go in and show someone their life. It’s up to them whether they want to deal with it.”
In a long and rambling interview, Diaz ranted about his post-UFC 183 suspension for five years for his third positive test for marijuana, a punishment later reduced to 18 months after public outcry. He indicated his younger brother, Nate Diaz, first wanted him to fight Jorge Masvidal in March at UFC 235 – a fight announced by the UFC but never confirmed – before the promotion put together the “BMF” title fight between Masvidal and Nate Diaz at UFC 244.
”That’s my belt,” Diaz said. “But I’m not going to get in my brother’s way of taking it.”
The onetime UFC welterweight title challenger also indicated that whatever the UFC had offered for another fight, it wasn’t enough.
”You know there’s more money in this,” Nick Diaz said. “Hell, you want to do something big, do it at Cowboy Stadium. You’ve got f*cking Canelos and other things happening at Cowboy Stadium. The biggest thing I did, as far as I’m concerned was UNLV. That seemed like a really big place.”
Diaz indicated the topic of his return had been a point of contention with his younger brother, who repeatedly sang his praises before UFC 244 and invited him onstage for the event’s weigh-ins to a raucous reception.
”I’m sure he would prefer me stop fighting, too, as he should,” Nick Diaz said. “But while it’s hot, it’s hot. But as grownups nowadays, we don’t always tend to consult with each other the way we would have in the short past, in the short time that it was before the past I was talking about.”
Yet Diaz also took great pride in watching his younger brother get his moment on a huge platform.
After 14 years of professional competition, Diaz said he was comfortable with his contributions to the sport, and he took credit for advances in the sport and its regulation. He also expressed disdain for fighters who competed as the UFC took off in popularity.
”(PRIDE), I used to fight in before UFC monopolized (and) bought the damn PRIDE up and threw the rules away so people could stall and run away,” he said. “Then you’ve got all these jock boys – ‘Oh, I should be a UFC fighter now, because I can run and take them down and then stall and run away, and then when I get big, then I can do it for five rounds and be in ultimate shape of my life and do the most steroids.’ Now, they’re testing you for f*cking steroids, buddy. Come at me, bro. Everybody I’ve ever fought has been on steroids.”
There was no such accusation directed at Masvidal. But Nick Diaz indicated the “BMF” champ had crossed the line before and after the fight when he spoke of “baptizing” his brother with fists.
"I never had nothing disrespectful to say, but you don't talk about baptizing my younger brother."@nickdiaz209 took offense to some of Jorge Masvidal's words about his brother Nate (via @arielhelwani) pic.twitter.com/QnibkWHehi— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 11, 2019
”You want to talk about baptizing my younger brother? That’s on you,” Nick Diaz said. “I never had nothing disrespectful to say. But you don’t talk about baptizing my younger brother. You’re already in a f*king position if you fight with me. You don’t talk like that to nobody.”
The UFC 244 loss still smoldered for the elder Diaz.
”My brother just got kicked in his face,” he said. “He’s having a really hard week, and I can fight.”
Yet when asked when he’d like to fight, Nick Diaz expressed more interest in running the New York Marathon. He talked up a new gym in Hollywood, Calif., next to a Russian spa that would open sometime soon.
Murky as it sounded, Diaz said his position on stepping back into the octagon again was clear.
”I explained to you exactly what’s going on, so it’s on you folks,” he said. “It’s on you Dana. It’s on you UFC. It’s on them. It’s in your hands now – Cowboy Stadium.”
If Diaz would like the next shot at Masvidal, there’s already fuel for his fire. After his interview, Masvidal’s manager, Malki Kawa, posted a pointed response.