UFC President Dana White has provided an update on the potential Octagon return of former Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz in 2021.
Diaz, one of the most popular fighters in MMA history, has not fought since a 2015 no contest with Anderson Silva, but began teasing a 2021 comeback earlier this year.
Speaking on The Schmozone podcast, White addressed this possibility. Unfortunately for Diaz fans, he doesn’t sound optimistic about the Stockton, California native returning to the cage.
“Everything that I see from Nick Diaz doesn’t look like he wants to or is ready to compete in this sport,” White said (via MMA Junkie). “Even Jon Jones, as good as Jon Jones is, you have to be 100 percent mentally, physically and emotionally ready to train, be ready for this, and fight. I don’t think anyone should want to see Nick Diaz fight.
“Nick Diaz has been in a lot of wars, he’s accomplished a lot of great things in his career, he’s made a lot of money, he’s obviously super-famous. He’s gotten everything you could hope to get out of fighting. I just don’t know why, when I see his Instagram, why he would come back.”
Contrary to these comments from White, there’s a lot of confidence on the Nick Diaz side of things.
“99.99999 (percent),” Manager Kevin Mubenga told Fanatics View recently when asked how likely Diaz is to fight in 2021. “We just got to get everything else right with the organization and everything. We’ll be able to move forward. He’s been training. People want to see (that). Well, he’s been training as you can see for the last few several months.
“He took a little break now,” the Diaz manager added. “Now, it’s time to get back on there and just go through it. You don’t want to overtrain and over-exhaust yourself, especially when you don’t have a date yet. But it was good to be able to go through the regimen and go through that small camp there to kind of feel everything out (and) get back with everyone (like trainer) Cesar Gracie.”
Do you think we’ll see Nick Diaz back in the cage in 2021, or are you with Dana White on this one?