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Nick Diaz Signs 3-Fight Contract Extension with UFC, Expected Back Early 2015

USA Today
Hunter HomistekCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2016

Guess who's back (back back)? Back again ('gain 'gain)...Homie's back (back back). Tell a friend.

Nick Diaz is back, ladies and gentlemen, and that's downright exciting stuff. 

UFC President Dana White sent out the following tweet Thursday evening, even including a full-on press release for our enjoyment: 

UFC.com's Matt Parrino wrote up the full release, adding some depth to the situation. 

"UFC superstar Nick Diaz has come out of retirement and has signed a three-fight contract extension in hopes of returning to the Octagon in early 2015," Parrino said in the release.

Either way, Diaz is back, and he's hoping to make his Octagon return in early 2015. That alone is reason to celebrate as a fan. 

Even better, it seems the time off has rejuvenated the Stockton bad boy. While visiting with UFC brass, Diaz said the hiatus was a "good experience" and he feels more ready than ever to make his return. 

"I've been doing a whole lot of not getting punched around-type stuff," Diaz said. "I've been staying in shape pretty good, doing a lot of running. It's been a good experience having this much time off."

Now the question becomes: Who will Diaz fight? 

There have been grumblings of a Diaz vs. Anderson Silva showdown, and that is definitely a fight that would pique fans' interest and provide fireworks inside the cage. Both guys prefer to stand up and search for the knockout, but each fighter is also technical and calculated in his approach. 

Diaz, for his part, would love to face The Spider. 

"I'd be interested in fighting [Anderson Silva] and anything that's going to do well," Diaz said in the press release. "As far as Anderson Silva, I think that would be a great fight for people to see because he has my type of style."

Diaz also mentioned that he'd "like to fight for the title," presumably the welterweight title. He previously challenged Carlos Condit for the interim 170-pound title at UFC 143 and Georges St-Pierre for the real title at UFC 158, dropping a decision on each occasion. 

With GSP gone and Condit recovering from injury, however, the road to welterweight gold looks much different now, and Diaz could potentially face Johny Hendricks, Robbie Lawler (a fighter he's already knocked out) or Matt Brown (a fighter almost tailor-made for his style) in his next bid for the 170-pound strap.

With no wins in the UFC since October of 2011, however, Diaz's golden thoughts might be a little premature. Personally, I'm banking on a Diaz vs. Silva showdown in early 2015, right around the same time Silva said he wants to return to the cage. 

Really, though, the opponent is just a formality at this point. 

Nick Diaz is back, and you know you're tuning in to watch him fight no matter who stands across from him on fight night. 

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