It’s been nearly five years since Nick Diaz last set foot inside the octagon, and despite the rumors that the elder Diaz is interested in returning, UFC President Dana White isn’t optimistic about the chances of that happening.
Nick Diaz has been the subject of constant speculation over if and when he’d return to fighting. But last February, Diaz made it clear he had no intention of coming back, barring a Godfather type offer. In November though, his tune changed. Following his younger brother Nate Diaz’s defeat to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244, Nick Diaz gave an interview to ESPN where he said he was potentially interested in a return fight against Masvidal as he views the BMF title as his by right. But according to Dana White, who says his team has spoken with Diaz about a comeback, all that is just talk.
“Well I haven’t [spoken with Nick], but I know that our matchmakers have,” White told ESPN. “But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think Nick Diaz wants to fight. I don’t think Nick has that love and that passion for fighting. I think it’s sort of a love-hate relationship for him. All the things that Nick has and has done is because of fighting, but I don’t think he loves to do it.”
White is right on one count, Nick Diaz does not love fighting. He’s said so himself on a number of occasions. But, as Diaz has also said him fighting is big business. In fact, Diaz and Masvidal had been linked to possibly fighting early last year, but things never materialized. Now, with Masvidal having blossomed into one of the sports’ biggest stars, that fight would be exponentially bigger. And if Diaz does decide he wants to come back, White says they’d still be interested, but the decision rests entirely with Nick.
“That’s up to Nick,” White said. “Nick knows whether he wants to fight or not. There’s guys I think should be finished, like I think should retire, because I don’t want to see them get hurt. Maybe I feel they can’t compete at this level anymore, and there are guys they know whether they want to fight or now. They have to make that decision on their own. This isn’t baseball or basketball or one of those sports where you can go out and just half-ass it. You have to be 100 percent in if you come, especially here. If you come to fight in the UFC, these guys are the best in the world, and they’re savages that want to become world champions. If you’re not in the right mindset, this is not the place for you.”