Nick Diaz: 5 Reasons UFC Star Must Make a Turnaround

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2012

Nick Diaz: 5 Reasons UFC Star Must Make a Turnaround

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    Nick Diaz is undoubtedly one of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts for both reasons good and bad. He is a rebel, controversial, tough as nails and exciting in the cage.

    But, with controversy comes baggage. Diaz is currently suspended due to a failed drug test following UFC 143 against Carlos Condit. This was the second time Diaz would be caught red-handed with marijuana in his system.

    Diaz is still one of the faces of MMA, so this is troubling. He desperately needs to make a turnaround or he will be left in the dust of a constantly growing sport.

Making the Sport Look Bad

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    Nick Diaz is a representative of not only the UFC, but the sport in general. Anytime he draws negative attention, he is hurting the sport.

    There are already a number of uneducated people who want the sport to fail, and every time Diaz is the cause of a failed drug test or a post-fight brawl, the sport suffers.

    I understand it's in his personality to be controversial, but he can do that without breaking rules and earning suspensions. 

Can Help the Sport into Mainstream

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    The UFC has already cracked into network television by tapping into the Fox networks, but they are still trying to capture a consistent audience. Nick Diaz has the fight style and personality to captivate the masses.

    He is gifted enough and exciting enough to put the sport over with many fans. He has a chin of steel, has a crazy boxing style that would intrigue fans and the submission ability to tap anybody.

    Fans can get behind Diaz because of his skills. They can get into the sport by following a guy like Diaz.

Still in His Prime

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    Nick Diaz has been a professional since 2001, but he is only 28. He has the chance to be a legend of the sport, but he needs to get his head on straight. 

    He is still in the prime of his career. The former Strikeforce champion has recently gone on a run beating tough competition. The best example of this was his battering of BJ Penn which put him into retirement.

    He is faster and more skilled than ever, using his seasoned all-around game to overwhelm opponents. He needs to change his ways so he can consistently get into the Octagon and earn higher accolades. 

Still a Top Contender

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    Despite his loss to Carlos Condit for the interim belt at UFC 143, Diaz is still a top contender, as the fight was extremely close.

    The failed drug test will definitely set him back a bit. But, one win should make him the No. 1 contender when he returns from his suspension.

Money Draw

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    Nick Diaz is very popular, there is no doubt about that. He is a great money draw when he fights, but he can't make money when he is suspended.

    Fans will continue paying to watch the brash, exciting fighter. He has to be one of the biggest draws in the UFC, despite only appearing on two pay-per-views since his return to the company.

    He needs to change his ways so he can consistently draw money for the company, in turn making himself money.