If Nick Diaz actually wants to return to action, the UFC is ready to book him in a fight.
The former welterweight title challenger hasn’t fought in nearly five years, but Diaz hinted in an interview with ESPN earlier this year that he might be interested in a fight against Jorge Masvidal after he dominated younger brother Nate Diaz at UFC 244. Then again, Diaz has been offered numerous opponents since his fight against Anderson Silva in 2015 and he hasn’t shown any real interest.
Despite his reluctance to book a fight, UFC president Dana White confirmed this week that matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard have spoken to Diaz about a potential return, though he’s not convinced it will actually happen.
“Well, I haven’t [spoken with Nick], but I know that our matchmakers have,” White said when speaking with 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.”
Diaz has admitted as much in the past while stating that he doesn’t really enjoy fighting and didn’t really have a desire to do it anymore.
While that may be true, Diaz also knows he remains a huge draw in the sport and his return to the UFC would undoubtedly net him a substantial payday against virtually any opponent of his choosing. Particularly, a Diaz vs. Masvidal fight could end up as one of the biggest UFC cards in 2020.
Dana White says ultimately Nick Diaz has to decide if he wants to fight again
At this point, White says the decision remains with Diaz on whether or not he actually wants to fight again or continue with his sabbatical from the sport where he’s stayed largely out of the spotlight since 2015.
“That’s up to Nick. Nick knows whether he wants to fight or not,” White stated. “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 not. 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.”