Nick Diaz may be plotting his course for a professional boxing match later this year, but Strikeforce officials are also hoping to have him back in the cage in the next three to four months.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, while he wouldn’t discuss particulars about Diaz’s contract or what in particular it said about allowing him to box, did say the two parties have yet to sit down and discuss boxing or MMA.
From the previous statement from both Diaz and his manager, Cesar Gracie, it appeared that the current Strikeforce welterweight champion had already negotiated a boxing match for later this year.
The exact wording of Diaz’s contract in regards to his boxing career coinciding with his MMA career hasn’t been revealed, but Strikeforce hopes to have a meeting with their champion and his management about it sometime soon.
“Here’s the one thing I don’t want to get into, I don’t want to get into Nick’s contract status with us. I know he does want to box, we’ll go back and look at the contract and take it from there. But I don’t want to go into whether he can or cannot. At some point, Cesar and our group will sit down and have a conversation because obviously there’s a lot to talk about,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio.
The details of his contract were off the table, but asked if Diaz’s boxing career was full steam ahead as of today, Strikeforce’s head man simply answered, ‘No, not at all.”
Gracie, however, stands by his statement that the contracts are clear and his fighter will be boxing, hopefully sometime in September or October.
“According to his contract: ‘Strikeforce agrees to cooperate with fighter (Nick Diaz) in exploring his interest in pursuing a career in boxing during the term of his agreement,'” Gracie told MMAWeekly.com on Monday via text message.
“Nick is boxing.”
One piece of the puzzle that hasn’t been explored at this point would be Strikeforce’s possible first right of refusal, if that is indeed part of Diaz’s contract.
Much like Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, who has fought in K-1 several times while under contract with the MMA promtion, it is Strikeforce who has to sign off on any fights or kickboxing matches he takes. They have the right to deny any such fights if they so choose.
It’s still unknown at this time if similar wording is in Diaz’s contract, but Coker believes that they will sit down with Diaz and Gracie soon enough to iron out the details.
As for his MMA career, Diaz appears ready to put that on hold while he’s pursuing his boxing dream, but Strikeforce is still hopeful he’ll come around to defending his welterweight title again. Coker, in particular, is hoping that Diaz will be back in the cage rather soon.
“I hope we’ll have him back in the cage here in the next three or four months.”