It sure sounded like Nick Diaz said he was done. From the post-fight interview:
“I’m not gonna accept the fact that this was a loss. I’ve lost fights before, and I’m not going to accept that either. I pushed him back the whole fight. I got the takedown. I’m the guy who won on top. If I didn’t think I was ahead when I had him on the ground I would have finished that armlock. And you know Carlos is a great guy. I am happy for him and his family. I think I am done with this MMA, I had a great time out here. You guys paid me way too much, but I don’t think I’m going to get enough to keep going with this. I’ve had a great time. Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Good Job Carlos you’re the man…I don’t need this shit. I pushed the guy backwards. He ran from me the whole fight. I landed the harder shots; he landed ittie bittie leg kicks the whole fight so you know if that’s the way you have to win in here I don’t think I want to play this game no more. I’ll help out my team. I’ll help out my brother but I’m done with this shit.”
I don't buy it. He was on an 11-fight win streak coming into the fight with Condit. Against ANY level of competition, that's tough. He beat BJ Penn decisively which, arguably, hasn't even been done by GSP.
He lost a big fight to Condit who simply played the game better. Condit understood that he wasn't going to win a brawl with Diaz and adjusted accordingly—whether or not you like how he went about doing it.
If Diaz has truly had the money issues he says he has, and if he truly is a competitor like I believe he is, he will be back. Even if he upset Dana with post-fight comments and attitudes, Dana will want him back.
Like him or not, Diaz is good for the sport.
He's not a Chael Sonnen-type antagonist where every word is measured and has the purpose of instigating. Diaz is a fighter who wears his heart on his sleeve and doesn't keep his mouth shut when he's frustrated. And he goes in and does what he can to finish every fight he's in.
So he may need to learn to play the game a bit better, but eventually the competitive spirit will rise again or money will run dry. Dana will want him to fight again because he's a guaranteed draw and will make the UFC money.
I've never been a Diaz fan, but I hope he steps back for a few, learns from the loss and re-evaluates his decision to step away. He can still be champ one day. And I don't necessarily think that day would be too far off.
If he just learns to control his emotions a little bit and show some maturity and class (without losing his "edginess") in both wins and losses, he'll be embraced by fans. Even the ones he's shinned in the past.
Please don't walk away, Nick. In a world where winning a fight has turned from simply beating up your opponent to gaining points subjectively from judges, you and your fighting style is sorely needed.