Nick Diaz: Time Away from the Octagon Is Best Thing for Beleaguered Fighter

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2013

February 4, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Carlos Condit (left) fights against Nick Diaz (right) during UFC 143 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Carlos Codit defeated Nick Diaz. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Diaz needs to step away from the UFC and evaluate his career.

Diaz's last appearance in the Octagon resulted in a one-sided loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158. Losing to GSP isn't a bad thing considering he's one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. The way in which Diaz lost, though, was troubling. He was clearly the inferior fighter and never looked close to winning at any point in the fight.

Following the loss, Diaz openly contemplated retirement (h/t MMA Weekly):

“I have to decide if I even want to do this anymore,” he said. “To be honest, I don’t know if I really got any more.

“I don’t make excuses; I think I’m done with mixed martial arts. I’m tired of getting banged up like this.”

Then came the news that Diaz has apparently never paid taxes (per If the United States government was able to get Al Capone on tax evasion, nailing Diaz should be no problem at all. That is, of course, if the U.S. strongly pursues charges on the fighter.

Few UFC fans actually buy Diaz at his word when he says he might be done with mixed martial arts. What many should agree on is that Diaz's best option at this point is to take a break and sort his life out.

It's hard to downgrade exactly how serious it is not to pay your taxes. Unlike other possible scenarios, you can't run away from your tax record no matter how much money you pay your attorneys. Diaz has a good chance of spending at least some time in jail.

He and his lawyers need to sort that out immediately to lessen whatever punishment Diaz will likely receive. It's not going to look good in the eyes of the government if Diaz just goes right back to training and appears blasé about the situation.

Then there's the question of Diaz's desire.

At only 30 years old, Diaz would be foolish to end his career. He's not embarrassing himself in the Octagon and has a few years of fighting ahead. That doesn't mean anything, though, if Diaz is questioning his motivation for fighting in the first place.

That's why it's important for Diaz to regain his desire to fight. He doesn't seem like the mercenary type who's only motivated by money. He has a passion for the sport; otherwise he wouldn't have lasted this long. Over time, he'll find that passion again.

Diaz's post-fight thoughts could have been the result of nothing more than frustration. You wouldn't expect him to take a fight in which he had been outclassed by St-Pierre very well. He just needs to get back on the horse and pick up a victory against somebody like Carlos Condit. Winning can cure many woes.

Diaz needs to get his career back on track. But more importantly, he needs to get his life on track.