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Cesar Gracie: Nick Diaz targeting September return, ‘very open’ to taking boxing match

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Gallery Photo: UFC 143 Fight Night Photos
Nick Diaz hasn't fought since a 2015 no-contest with former UFC champion Anderson Silva.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

All signs are pointing at Nick Diaz making a comeback in 2021, but it appears that a few things still have to be figured out.

A few weeks after UFC president Dana White said it looked like the former welterweight contender would fight again this year, Diaz’s longtime coach Cesar Gracie confirmed the plans in a text message to MMA Fighting. Gracie, however, said it’s still unclear when and where Diaz will compete next.

“We were looking at September,” Gracie wrote of a timetable for Diaz’s next fight. “I have to see where he is in his contract. It is possible that his next fight will not be in the UFC.”

Asked if Diaz is a free agent, Gracie simply replied “we are studying that possibility,” declining to elaborate what that meant for his near future.

Diaz (26-9, 2 no contest) was a year removed from his second UFC title fight, a decision loss to Georges St-Pierre which dropped him to 1-2 since returning to the promotion, when he signed a three-fight extension with the UFC.

According to a source, Diaz is still on the UFC roster.

The Stockton star faced Anderson Silva seven months after signing the contract extension, losing a decision. The result was later overturned to no-contest after both fighters failed drug tests.

Like many MMA stars that pursue boxing matches recently, including Silva himself, Gracie said “Nick is very open to take a fight in MMA or boxing.”

Diaz fought three times in the UFC since re-joining the company in 2011, an often troubled run that only includes a sole victory over B.J. Penn. Diaz was victorious in seven of 14 UFC bouts dating back to 2003.