MMA’s original bad boy and former Strikeforce welterweight champion, Nick Diaz is currently serving his suspension for testing positive for marijuana metabolites prior to UFC 183, but soon he’ll be eligible to return. August is right around and the corner, which begs the question, who and what is next for the Stockton native?
Carlos Condit’s statement on training for a rematch against Diaz were refuted by today’s report from the Albuquerque Journal that Condit is scheduled to fight Demian Maia at UFC 202 on August 20th. With his younger brother, Nate Diaz headlining the card, and Nate’s aversion towards fighting on the same card as his brother, it appears that there are other plans for Nick Diaz.
One interesting match up that has been brought to our attention is a rematch against current welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler. Although Diaz does hod a knockout victory over Lawler, Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson stand in the way of Diaz earning the shot. Then there is the possibility of Diaz fighting a brawler like Matt Brown or perhaps Donald Cerrone, but Diaz hasn’t exactly showed interest in fighting anyone who is not included in the top five of their respective divisions.
According to current Middleweight champion, Michael Bisping, Diaz has recently requested a fight against Bisping at a catchweight of 178 pounds. While intriguing, it doesn’t make sense for the new champion to fight at a catchweight especially when he’s never weighed in below 185 pounds in the past.
One potential dark horse in the Diaz could potentially be a stepping stone in Diaz earning a shot for the welterweight title and that man is Rory MacDonald. MacDonald is a longtime training partner of Diaz’s nemesis, Georges St Pierre, which would only add interest in the potential scrap. MacDonald’s stock has taken a hit since suffering two straight losses including two losses against Robbie Lawler, but if he does re-sign with the UFC, we could have an interesting fight in our hands. The problem with this proposal is that too many things have to go right including MacDonald returning sooner than most would like to see.
Speaking of returns, there was the big news of GSP officially being ready to return from a near three long hiatus. Diaz’s feud with GSP doesn’t appear to be over as the Stockton native expressed immediate interest in rematching the former welterweight champ following his loss against him three years ago. The lead up to the fight would generate a ton of attention, but it doesn’t appear as if Diaz is included in St Pierre’s short list.
Another interesting point is the fact that prior to his suspension, Diaz hasn’t exactly been known for his activity. Following his return from a year long suspension in February 2012, Diaz fought Georges St Pierre in March of 2013, retired and then came out of retirement to fight Anderson Silva nearly two years later.
Still, only 32 years old, Diaz should have a lot left in the tank and plenty of fan interest to boot. The only question lies within how much desire he has to step into the octagon and participate in an activity he admittedly hates.