Few fighters have as dedicated a fanbase as UFC welterweight Nick Diaz. So naturally, when news broke from his management that he was coming out of his half-hearted retirement to once again throw down in the Octagon, the MMA world took notice.
Unfortunately, it seems as though any announcement of his return was premature. UFC President Dana White flatly told MMAFighting.com, “nobody at the UFC talked to [Diaz Manager] Cesar Gracie, or anyone else that reps Nick.” This runs completely opposite to what Gracie told BJPenn.com Radio, who said that “there is an offer on the table...Dana has offered him a fight.”
While Gracie is one of the most prominent non-fighting personalities in MMA, he has frequently found himself at odds with fans and UFC executives. White famously called the trainer a “dick” before Diaz's title fight at UFC 158 against Georges St-Pierre. Diaz would lose the fight, and announce his retirement immediately after the fight, claiming he would only put his gloves back on for a rematch with St-Pierre, or a superfight with at-the-time middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
This is undoubtedly disappointing news for Diaz fans. While Diaz has been keeping busy since what he claimed to be his final fight, there are almost a dozen interesting matchups that could realistically be made involving the 12-year MMA veteran, including bouts with Carlos Condit, Rory MacDonald, Dong-Hyun Kim and Demian Maia.
That said, it is by no means uncommon for fighters to retire immediately after harsh losses, and then renege shortly thereafter. While Diaz was understandably distraught over the loss, few believed his gloves were going to remain on the hook permanently.
What's more, Diaz is a recognizable, popular fighter and a solid draw on pay per view. If Diaz wants to return to the sport, which seems to be the case, the UFC is going to actively look for ways to accommodate him.