Nick Diaz Returns!: 3 Opponents He Could Face in UFC Return

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2014

Nick Diaz, left, cheers on his brother Nate Diaz during a UFC lightweight mixed martial arts fight between Nate Diaz and Josh Thomson in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, April 20, 2013. Thomson won by technical knock out in the second round. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Stockton's native son, Nick Diaz, is finally set to return to the UFC and, man, it couldn't have come at a better time. The former Strikeforce champion has long been one of the most enigmatic figures in MMA, and the question now, as it has always been, is what could possibly be next for Nick Diaz?

Well, things are a bit simpler than usual right now—we know Diaz is going to fight again at some point in the coming months, but against whom? Well, that's what we're here to discuss. 

So who is the most likely opponent for Diaz to face in his UFC return? Who would be the most entertaining fight? Find out right here!


Anderson Silva

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Anderson Silva speaks during a press conference for UFC 162 at X-Gym on June 12, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

We may as well get the biggest name out of the way right off. Per MMA Fighting, there are already rumors swirling that a Nick Diaz vs. Anderson Silva super-ish fight is being lined up for spring 2015. 

Does the fight make sense for any involved party? Absolutely not.

Diaz has a clear path to the welterweight title, and it's hard to imagine that the UFC wouldn't be willing to give him a crack at Robbie Lawler from Day 1. For Silva, Diaz is kind of an odd choice for a possible swan song, and opponents like Cung Le and Michael Bisping make more sense. 

Still, it's a fight that is years in the making, and it's one both men seem to want. It's an interesting blend of fighters that would likely combine for fireworks in the cage. Despite the weirdness, it's an incredibly exciting possibility.


Michael Bisping

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Former MiddleEasy owner and "Skrap Pack" mouthpiece Zeus Tipado stated that Diaz is exclusively looking for high-profile opponents at this time: 

@malkikawa Catchweight, only looking for superfights.

— Zeus Tipado (@tipado) July 27, 2014

In the same vein as a fight with Anderson Silva, a bout with Michael Bisping would be an intriguing super-ish fight. While it lacks the glamour of a fight with The Spider and wouldn't be a top-flight, pay-per-view-quality main event, it's still an interesting battle between radically different striking styles.

While he's no Anderson Silva, Bisping is still a name-brand fighter who would be able to add a great deal of intrigue to this fight. In fact, the buildup alone would make this one of Diaz's most intriguing potential opponents. 


Diego Sanchez

LAS VEGAS - MAY 28:  UFC fighter Diego Sanchez weighs in for his fight against UFC fighter John Hathaway at UFC 114: Rampage versus Rashad at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on May 28, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Before Nick Diaz was jeering Johny Hendricks, before he sank Strikeforce by sucker-punching Jason "Mayhem" Miller on national television and even before his legendary hospital brawl with Joe Riggs, there was his rivalry with Diego Sanchez. 

It had everything. Wacky moments (Diaz throwing his shoe). An overarching storyline (The Ultimate Fighter participants vs. non-TUF fighters). Eccentric characters (you probably don't need me to explain this one). 

It also had a pretty fun fight too in November 2005.

Well, even though the years haven't been as kind to Sanchez as they have been to Diaz, this is still one of the many old rivalries that would be a dream to see brought back to life. And hey, apparently a win over Diego Sanchez is enough to get you a title shot these days.