UFC: 5 Fights to Welcome Back Nick Diaz
Fight fans can rejoice because Nick Diaz has decided to return from his brief retirement. UFC President Dana White used his official Twitter account to reveal the return of the popular fighter. Diaz has signed a new deal that will allow him to appear in the Octagon at least three more times. The UFC has struggled to create stars with its current roster, so Diaz’s return comes at a great time for the promotion.
As always, Nick is interested in fighting for a UFC title; however, it will be hard to book him in such a manner coming off of two straight losses.
"I'd like to fight for the title," Diaz said in a UFC.com report. "I think that would be a big deal and worth fighting for. I want fights that will lead to a title fight. Whoever is in line and whoever has the title, that's who I'm going to be fighting.
With that in mind, these are five fight suggestions that would work to keep the Stockton, California, native busy while creating interesting contests for the fans to enjoy.
5. Joe Riggs
In an odd twist of fate, Joe Riggs was also welcomed back to the UFC, per Sherdog, this week. “Diesel” has been away from the organization since 2006 and will step in to face Paulo Thiago at UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski on September 13 in Brasilia, Brazil.
While this isn’t a rankings-buster fight for Diaz, there is a backstory between these two individuals that is worth promoting in a second bout. Riggs defeated Diaz via unanimous decision back in 2006, but the most interesting part of the story is the alleged brawl that broke out between competitors at the hospital.
Riggs recently gave his account of the story to Bloody Elbow writer Tim Burke back in 2013. Putting these two together again would create an atmosphere born for the type of promotion that the UFC embraces today.
4. Rory MacDonald
Rory MacDonald is emerging as a top contender in the UFC’s welterweight division. Currently, the UFC has him ranked as No. 2 within the division. A victory over Diaz would perhaps cement him as a No. 1 contender against the man who has the title in early 2015.
An interesting aspect to this potential fight is how well MacDonald would be able to handle the constant pressure that Diaz brings to his opponents. MacDonald seemed to struggle early against Demian Maia at UFC 170 due to the pressure that the Brazilian was able to bring early in their fight. Robbie Lawler used a similar strategy and hampered Rory on the feet for much of their UFC 167 bout in which he won.
Diaz’s steady boxing attack may be enough to wear down the Canadian during a 15 minute affair.
Also, this win would be enough to catapult Diaz toward the top of the rankings and would be enough ammunition for the promotion to put one of its biggest stars in a main event.
3. The Loser of Matt Brown vs. Robbie Lawler
The UFC on Fox 12 bout between Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown is a number one contender’s fight (via UFC.com) to see who faces Johny Hendricks next. The loser of that fight will be wide-open to face a returning Diaz.
Lawler suffered a knockout loss at the hands of Diaz back in 2004 at UFC 47. Since then, their careers have gone on different paths while being within the same promotion. This opening would allow them to be placed against each other in an effort to keep them both relevant within the 170-pound group.
Brown vs. Diaz would be a stylistic matchup that would attract attention. Both Matt and Nick are very aggressive, so fans would be able to expect a violent fight from start to finish.
2. Carlos Condit
Diaz suffered a decision loss to Carlos back in 2012 when the two competitors fought over the Interim UFC Welterweight title. Diaz walked away from the sport for nearly a year before returning in March of 2013.
Still, his first fight with “The Natural Born Killer” was a hotly debated topic about what is really important in scoring a MMA contest. Condit is out until 2015 after suffering a knee injury at UFC 171. If he is able to return in early 2015, a second fight against Diaz would be a captivating fight to create.
1. Anderson Silva
The idea of this superfight has been bounced around in recent times. The former Strikeforce champion addressed the potential fight in a UFC.com report:
"I'd be interested in fighting [Anderson Silva] and anything that's going to do well," Diaz stated in the report. "As far as Anderson Silva, I think that would be a great fight for people to see because he has my type of style."
The fight world would erupt at the announcement of this contest that would feature one of the best fighters to ever grace the Octagon and one of the company’s most polarizing personalities. No titles would be on the line, but this fight would be the type of money-making contest that would blow pay-per-view buy rates out of the water.