It appears the prodigal son is about to return.
Welterweight Nick Diaz, who was last seen in the Octagon when he was routed by Georges St-Pierre in a title fight in Montreal on March 16, 2013, plans to fight soon.
Next year I guess. Whatever, though. I can fight tomorrow, tonight. You have to do what you have to do. ... [I came today] to sort things out with Dana White and Lorenzo. It was hard times for a little bit, but people act like I've been doing nothing. I've been getting some things done. Just because I'm not getting punched around every day doesn't mean I'm not focused on what I'm doing. Now, here we are.
Diaz has long been one of the sport's most popular fighters, but he might have been at the peak of his popularity on the night of his unanimous decision loss to St-Pierre at the Bell Centre.
And after the fight, even when he was thoroughly beaten, he stole the show. He said St-Pierre "hits like a girl," and demanded a rematch even though the fight wasn't close.
Worse, he said he hadn't paid his taxes and would 'probably go to jail'.
He managed to stay out of jail and is now nearing a return. Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who broke a leg last December in a fight with Chris Weidman, is looking to return at the end of this year or early next. But White tweeted that UFC officials haven't talked to Silva, putting a bit of a damper on hopes for a Silva-Diaz bout. White said in his tweet that Silva won't return until February.
Diaz, who has lost two fights in a row, expressed interest in a Silva fight in his interview with UFC.com.
I'd like to fight for the title. I think that would be a big deal and worth fighting for. I want fights that will lead to a title fight. Whoever is in line and whoever has the title, that's who I'm going to be fighting. I'd be interested in fighting [Silva] and anything that's going to do well. As far as Anderson Silva, I think that would be a great fight for people to see because he has my type of style.
So while it's unlikely he'll get Silva, there are plenty of great opponents in the welterweight division who would make for a good fight with Diaz, so his potential return is encouraging.
Nothing is ever written in stone with either of the Diaz brothers, but it's been a long time since better news for fight fans came out of Stockton, Calif.