It certainly didn’t take long for the war of words to ignite between Michael Bisping and Nick Diaz.
Over the last couple of days, the MMA community has bottled excitement over the possibility of Diaz coming out of retirement and moving up to 185 pounds to challenge Bisping.
Gilbert Melendez, Diaz’s teammate, told MMAFighting.com at a media luncheon earlier in the week that Diaz would likely fight in the UFC again for the right opportunity. After hearing those comments, Bisping took to Twitter and challenged Diaz to a fight at middleweight.
Fighters Only recently visited Bisping for an exclusive interview to get his thoughts on Diaz as an opponent.
I heard from a little bird somewhere that Nick Diaz kind of fancied fighting me, and if that is what he wants to do, great, Bisping says in the kitchen, while cooking a few steaks. I have nothing against Diaz, I don’t know the guy, I enjoy watching his fights and he’s a fan favorite. So, if he wants to fight me and he wants to come up to 185 then I’ll happily welcome him to the division.
Diaz announced his retirement from MMA in March after losing to UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.
His reasoning for leaving has always been based around a growing discontent over the evolution of MMA and where the sport is currently headed. In a nutshell, Diaz has never been a fan of elaborate game plans and point scoring in fights.
Initially, it was thought that Diaz would never return. His post-UFC career had a promising start with the launch of WAR MMA, his own MMA promotion.
But during a recent interview with Fighters Only, Diaz admitted that it was “kind of hard to retire from MMA.” While he isn’t in any hurry to return, the former Strikeforce middleweight champ stated that he doesn’t mind taking big fights whenever they pop up.
Coincidentally enough, this is the same reason Bisping asked to fight Diaz in the first place.
“I think it would be a good fight. Obviously, it’s a fight I see myself winning quite handily, but Nick Diaz attracts a lot of attention and there’ll be a lot of eyes on that fight,” Bisping tells Fighters Only.
While Bisping believes the fight will garner a lot of attention, he sees himself as a terrible matchup stylistically for Diaz. There would be an obvious size disadvantage, and Diaz isn’t particularly a strong wrestler.
I think it’s a terrible fight, terrible fight for him and a good fight for me, but everyone has got an opinion. He’s not a bad [striker]. Obviously he’s got some power, he knocked out Paul Daley. Paul Daley is a tough kid so he’s no slouch. He’s good on the ground, not a particularly strong wrestler, but he’s a dangerous opponent for a lot of people.
I’ve never backed away from a fight in my life. If Nick wants to fight me, I’m certainly not going to turn down some petulant child of an MMA fighter. That’s how he gets on, a bit of a petulant child is how I would describe him. If he wants to fight and get taught a lesson then come on, who am I to say no? I would happily oblige.
Things have been relatively quiet on Diaz’s end thus far, but according to a Tweet from MiddleEasy’s Layzie the Savage, he has verbally agreed to fight Bisping.
One can only imagine what the pre-fight buildup for this bout would be like.