While it appears Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz will be returning to action in January, it won’t be against Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
According to Diaz’s trainer Cesar Gracie on his site GracieFighter.com, Miller opted not to cut down to 178lbs as requested by the welterweight champion, and thus the fight will not happen.
“Jason “Mayhem” Miller has opted to not take a fight with Nick Diaz in January at a catchweight of 178lbs,” Gracie wrote.
“Despite having previously fought at the 170lbs weight limit, Miller now says that he is unwilling to meet at 178 and instead wants Strikeforce’s welterweight champion to move up to middleweight to fight him.”
Gracie is correct that Miller has fought at 170lbs before, but the one time UFC welterweight has been fighting at middleweight since 2005. Add to that Diaz has gone up to a higher weight for two recent fights in Strikeforce including wins over Frank Shamrock and Scott Smith.
“Miller has stated he would be willing to lose 2 pounds and fight at 183lbs. As of yet Miller has defeated none of the top Strikeforce contenders, but did win a fight on MTV’s Bully Beatdown show,” Gracie quipped on his site.
“Strikeforce will now be searching for a new opponent for Diaz for their January card.”
Diaz has stated in the past that he went up to a higher weight because the promotion asked him to do so, but it appears for now that his commitment is to the welterweight division.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAWeekly Radio previously that the promotion has had talks about putting together a Diaz vs. Miller super fight, but nothing was ever formalized.
“You have to look at it from all different angles,” Coker said about Mayhem vs. Diaz. “Would it be a fun fight to promote? Sure. I think we should wait until the beginning of the year, and let’s have another conversation on that because with Miller and Diaz I just couldn’t imagine the extra security that I’d probably need to get to make that fight happen.”
Even at that point Coker didn’t sound overly enthusiastic about the potential powder keg that could explode putting Diaz and Miller together in the cage. Coker did point out that both Diaz and Miller have other challenges that could stand in front of them instead of facing each other.
It looks like for now that’s the plan.
Diaz however appears ready to return in January regardless of the fight with Miller getting made. After a face-plant knockout over Scott Smith on Saturday night, Paul Daley could be waiting in the wings for a title shot, but it’s unclear what Strikeforce plans to do at this time.