Nick Diaz will be making some big career decisions over the next week or two.
The reigning Strikeforce welterweight champion is coming off of a win over Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to close out the month of January, and is already hyped up for a new challenge.
The king of Stockton, Calif., has never been one to back down from challenging himself with a new project. It appears that he’s now ready to move on from doing triathlons to the world of professional boxing.
Diaz has sharpened his hands a great deal over the last few years, and according to his coach and manager Cesar Gracie, they will be making some decisions very soon whether the welterweight champion’s next fight will be MMA or boxing.
“We’re kind of as curious as you guys are to see what the next step is and where things lead. I’m in talks with the boxing people now. I’m in talks with Scott Coker. I’m meeting with them to go over what the possible next step is with Nick and Strikeforce. I’m a fan of the sport too, so I’m kind of excited to see where it’s going to go,” Gracie told MMAWeekly Radio.
The decision may very well fall all in the lap of Strikeforce welterweight challenger Paul Daley. He’s fighting in his home country of England later this month as the headliner of a BAMMA show. If he’s successful, Strikeforce has already promised him the next shot at Diaz.
If he stumbles and falls or somehow has to deal with a long term injury, Diaz will likely opt for boxing as his next challenge instead of MMA. The Gracie trained fighter loves to train the sport, and believes he can ascend to a new level for a crossover athlete.
“People don’t know this, but he had one pro boxing match already and it was a few years back and he won that fight. So technically, Nick he is already a pro boxer. Now is he a pro boxer on the level of these really great pro boxers? Maybe he’s not at that level right now, but I think with the proper training he can get pretty far up there,” Gracie said.
They are happy however to accept a fight against Daley if the deal can come together over the next few months. But Diaz has never been a fighter that likes to sit out for very long, and he’s already itching to get back in the cage for a bout.
“Both of those things and it really depends on the promoters at that point,” Gracie said about Diaz’s desire to do boxing and MMA. “Obviously, we have a relationship with Strikeforce and if they want to make that fight happen in the next few months or so, that would be fine and he’d end up fighting Paul Daley. Daley’s got a fight coming up, he’ll probably get past it, if he doesn’t that might ruin the fight. But if he does win this next fight I think it would be an intriguing match-up.
“You’re going to see a slugfest at that point. Nick’s one of those guys, maybe it’s not the smartest thing in the world, but I think it’s endearing to the fans where he’ll go out and fight a guy at what that guy’s best at, he doesn’t care.”
Fans will need to keep a very close eye on the BAMMA fight involving Paul Daley because that very well may determine whether they see Nick Diaz defend his belt next, or take a few swings in the boxing ring instead.