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Nick Diaz Says He Wants to Return to UFC at End of 2022, Fight Champion Kamaru Usman

Adam WellsMay 26, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 25: Nick Diaz in his  middleweight fight during UFC 266 on September 25, 2021, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Despite being winless in his past four fights and only having one match in the past six years, Nick Diaz is aiming high as he ponders a return to the UFC later this year.

Speaking to TMZ Sports, Diaz said he's "working" on a fight for the end of this year and he's targeting welterweight champion Kamaru Usman as his opponent.

"I wanna fight for the title," he said. "I don't wanna do all thisโ€”I'm 38 years old."

Diaz returned from a six-year hiatus in September 2021 to fight Robbie Lawler. He was knocked down in the third round and the referee gave him the opportunity to get back on his feet, but he verbally quit to end the match.

UFC President Dana White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto three months after the fight that he doesn't think Diaz should continue to fight.

"Regardless of how good he looked [against Lawler] or what he did after such a huge layoff, I don't think Nick should fight," White said. "It's not that I was in favor of it. He's a grown man and can do whatever he wants to do. I just don't think that Nick does it because he loves it. I think Nick does it because he has to do it."

Diaz hasn't won a fight since UFC 137 in October 2011 when he beat B.J. Penn by unanimous decision. He's since gone on to lose to Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre. 

Anderson Silva also defeated Diaz at UFC 183, but the result was overturned to a no contest after Silva failed multiple drug tests prior to the fight. Diaz was suspended for five years by the Nevada State Athletic Commission because of a positive marijuana test leading up to the fight. It was the third such failed test of his career.

Usman is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts. The Nigerian Nightmare has a 20-1 career record (15-0 in the UFC) and has successfully defended the welterweight title five times since beating Tyron Woodley to win the crown at UFC 235.

An official date has yet to be announced, but White confirmed in January that Leon Edwards will be the next challenger for Usman.

Edwards defeated Nick's brother, Nate, in his most recent fight at UFC 263 in June.   

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