UFC 158: Nick Diaz Would Be Foolish to Retire After Loss to Georges St-Pierre

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2013

Mar 16, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;  Nick Diaz (blue) lands a punch on Georges St.Pierre (red) during their Welterweight title bout at UFC 158 at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Diaz should not go out like this.

He was outclassed by Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158. The buildup to the fight had been very heated, thus leading up to what looked to be a great fight. Instead, it was just more evidence as to the quality of St-Pierre. He looked to be the clear winner, and the judges agreed. All three scored the fight 50-45 in favor of GSP.

The result had to be a bit disheartening for Diaz. It was his first fight in the Octagon since Feb. 4, 2012, after which he received a 13-month suspension (h/t Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com). Few could have expected that Diaz might actually contemplate retirement (h/t John Morgan of USA Today):

"I think I'm going to have to just kind of figure out if I want to keep doing this," Diaz said. "To be honest, I don't think I've really got it anymore."

For the most part, when a fighter is weighing whether or not to walk away, discretion is the better part of valor. Hanging on to the last vestiges of a once-productive career only leads to more disappointment.

Diaz is only 29 years old, though. This isn't the case of a fighter who's clearly past his best simply hanging on for a few more paydays. Diaz's still got more than enough in the tank.

The loss to St-Pierre was Diaz's second in a row after losing to Carlos Condit at UFC 143. Let's not forget that Diaz had won his previous 11 fights before the defeat to Condit. There's no shame in losing a decision to St-Pierre, who's one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Diaz is still hovering close to the top of the UFC Welterweight rankings. With a couple more wins, he could very well have himself with another shot at the title.

If his passion is really dwindling, there's nothing that can really be done or said on Diaz's behalf that will make that drive come back. Either he will want to continue fighting, or he won't.

The quote from Diaz could be nothing more than a disappointed fighter speaking out after a tough loss. When you've tried so hard and come up short, it's only natural to question whether or not you still have it.

The longer he goes without fighting, the stronger that itch will be to get back in the Octagon. Plus, there's no reason the lasting image of Diaz should his loss to St-Pierre.

In a few months, this could all turn into nothing at all. At the moment, Diaz would be crazy to call it quits. His work is far from finished.