It’s nearly time for Stockton to get their second superstar brother in the MMA world.
After an 18 month suspension for marijuana following a defeat to Anderson Silva (was later overturned to a no-contest), Diaz was suspended for failing to keep USADA informed of his whereabouts. He was suspended for a year and has been eligible to compete once again since way back in April 2018.
His last win was even further back than that, when he beat BJ Penn 2011 in a fight of the night decision. Following that he was defeated by Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre in welterweight title fights before the Anderson Silva fight.
Since then his brother Nate has taken on the mantle of the family name and become a world star, mainly due to his memorable feud with Conor McGregor. Diaz was present for those fights, working as a cornerman and was even brought up by Conor in an attempt to rile Nate up.
Diaz is now looking to make a comeback, with his manager Kevin Mubenga telling ESPN that he will ‘100% return to fighting’ and is keeping a close eye on the 170lbs division with a return in early 2021 on the agenda.
When Nate took on Jorge Masvidal for the BMF title in November 2019, Masvidal’s win and subsequent comments drew Nick from the woodwork. He did an interview with ESPN and Ariel Helwani talking about his interest in fighting Masvidal for the BMF title to avenge his little brother’s loss. The fight never materialised and Nick went back into his hole, preparing and waiting.
With a rematch between Masvidal and Nate now in the works for January, it’s possible that Nick is waiting to see the outcome of that before he makes a final decision. If Masvidal wins, he’ll almost certainly make the move to make that fight finally happen. If baby brother Nate wins, Nick could have his eyes on Masvidal’s former teammate and friend Colby Covington.
Covington lost in his title fight to Kamaru Usman and will fight Tyron Woodley later this month to settle their long-running feud. Should be successful, Diaz could look to make a return against him following a run-in they had on Twitter earlier this year.
In all seriousness, Nick Diaz’s return would be a money fight for anyone who took it and the card would almost certainly do big numbers. Despite his inactivity, he remains one of the most popular fighters in the sport and at 37 years old he’s likely to have one more run in him considering the lack of damage he would have taken in the last decade.
Other options would be a title run, which means he’d have to go through the likes of Leon Edwards, Gilbert Burns or Stephen Thompson if he didn’t fight either Masvidal or Covington.
After so long out it would be great to see how he performed but one thing is for sure, he is more than ready to return and we all can’t wait to see it.