The Mixed Martial Arts world may not have seen the last of Nick Diaz. Most athletes get the itch to return in their respected discipline after their first retirement.
Diaz’s exile from the sport is self-inflicted.
Diaz retired after testing positive for marijuana in a pre-fight drug test against Carlos Condit at UFC 143. It was a controversial finish. Some believe Diaz did enough to win.
The unorthodox boxer faced serious consequences. Diaz was handed a yearlong suspension and levied a heavy fine. He’ll be out until at least February.
There were reports that Diaz was content in a life post fighting, that Diaz would compete in triathlons and grow in other aspects as an athlete.
But in an unsurprising turn of events, it seems as if Diaz has garnered the itch again.
Cesar Gracie revealed that Diaz’s retirement situation is “temporary.”
“There’s retired and there’s retired. One day you have a job and you retire, you’re retired. But Nick’s too young, he’s what, 28 (or) 29, whatever he is. I think the word can be used … how about temporarily retired? I think that would be a better thing about it, he’s temporarily retired.”
I hope Gracie is correct. The UFC is a better place with Nick Diaz. Georges St. Pierre doesn’t think so, but conflict is the essence of sports. The way he stalks opponents around the ring is classic. After the first round of Diaz’s bout with BJ Penn, he picked Penn apart on the feet, something MMA fans had not seen before.
Diaz is the first fighter to elicit a public response from GSP. Diaz got into his head, also something MMA fans had never seen before.
The former Strikeforce Champion is a fighter is one of the few Welterweights who isn’t intimidated by the GSP aura. Everyone with a brain can recognize and respect his talent. Unfortunately Diaz’s head isn’t screwed on straight.