UFC 143 Results: Questions That Remain About Nick Diaz

Sean SmithAnalyst IFebruary 5, 2012

UFC 143 Results: Questions That Remain About Nick Diaz

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    After losing a heartbreaking decision to Carlos Condit in the main event of UFC 143, Nick Diaz shockingly stated that he would be retiring from MMA.

    Considering Diaz has toyed with the idea of leaving MMA for boxing in the past, it's probably safe to say that the book hasn't been closed on the Stockton, Calif. native's UFC career.

    However, Diaz's post-fight remarks on Saturday night certainly sparked many questions about the former Strikeforce champion.

    With his missed chance at becoming an interim UFC champion still in the rear-view mirror, let's take a look at some of the more pressing concerns about the sport's most perplexing character.

Will He Return to the Octagon?

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    "I'm out of this s--t."

    Those were Nick Diaz's final words in a post-fight interview with UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Until we hear from Diaz or his camp, which could be months from now, Diaz's surprising retirement talk will be all we are left with from one of the top welterweights in the sport.

    Given his track record for making outlandish statements regarding his MMA future, it wouldn't be out of line to predict that Diaz will return to the Octagon in 2012.

    Once Diaz has the time to cool down and realize he remains within one or two big wins of a title shot, expect word to leak out that the Cesar Gracie-trained fighter will be continuing his MMA career. 

Who's Next?

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    Should Nick Diaz opt to continue his MMA career, there are plenty of interesting fights available for him in the UFC's welterweight division.

    Most notably, a bout with Josh Koscheck would provide some entertaining pre-fight banter and could put Diaz back on track toward earning a title shot.

    By joining Georges St-Pierre as the second fighter to defeat Koscheck in the former TUF participant's past seven fights, Diaz would put himself right back in the front of the line for a shot at the winner of a potential title bout between Carlos Condit and St-Pierre.

    Still only 28 years old, there's no reason for Diaz to give up on his goal to become a UFC champion, especially when he is still so close to fighting for the belt again after a controversial loss to Condit.

Will Diaz Ever Become UFC Champion?

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    Though he was just defeated by Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz could have arguably walked away from UFC 143 with a belt around his waist. Diaz pushed the pace against Condit, but he was unable to implement his game plan and corner the Greg Jackson-trained fighter against the fence.

    If Diaz improved his wrestling and found a way to take Condit to the ground earlier than the fifth and final round, we may have had a very different outcome.

    With his boxing and jiu-jitsu being some of the best in the division, Diaz has the ability to make another run at a UFC title with smarter game planning, better wrestling and a more varied attack on his feet.

    While that may sound like a lot to improve on, it is more just a matter of making adjustments for Diaz.

    In terms of athletic ability, Diaz is more than capable of becoming UFC champion before his career actually comes to a close.