Nick Diaz (26-9-1) recently took to Instagram to announce that he wants another fight in the UFC after breaking up with his girlfriend. UFC President Dana Whiteconfirmed that Diaz is still under contract and can come back to the organization anytime he wants to.
Possible ideas for another Diaz fight include a rematch with Carlos Condit (28-7) and a grudge match with Rory MacDonald (14-1), since Diaz has an ongoing feud with MacDonald’s Tristar Gym in Montreal. Diaz could avenge a UFC 143 loss against Condit or get even for MacDonald beating his younger brother Nate Diaz (16-9) at UFC 129. MacDonald’s lone loss came against Condit at UFC 115 in 2010. Either option for Diaz does not seem wise if he wants his next fight in the Octagon to be a victory.
The best option for Diaz is to commit to retirement and continue to build his WAR Mixed Martial Arts promotion. The first event put on by Diaz turned out to be a solid fight card with few issues beyond a short breakdown in the online pay-per-view feed. WAR MMA 1 took place on June 22, and there are no details yet on when the second event will take place. The promotion is one of a minority of MMA organizations headed by former fighters, and it could develop into a key proving ground for up and coming mixed martial artists. Ex-UFC fighters would also be able to find a decent home there if WAR MMA keeps going strong.
It’s only been about four months since Diaz announced his retirement after a brutal UFC 158 loss to UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. Diaz said at the time that he would not return unless he could get a rematch with GSP. That doesn’t appear to be in the cards.
This change of heart is nothing new for Diaz, who is famous for his often strange and unpredictable behavior. Still, making such a decision in the wake of a heartbreaking personal crisis could come back to haunt Diaz. His bouts with anxiety issues make him much better suited to stay behind the scenes as a promoter with a staff who can handle all his PR needs. Though he could still make some decent money as a fighter, resuming his pro career means having to sell himself again, something he’s very uncomfortable with.
At any rate, if he does return it should be a fight against someone he can legitimately beat, but not someone he’ll simply dominate. Diaz can be a very polarizing figure, but he has tons of supporting fans who would not be served by watching him get thrown to the lions in his first comeback fight. It would also help him get his own promotion some much-needed publicity if he could extend his comeback beyond just one fight and not just get beat up to the point where he has no choice but to really retire this time.
Nick Diaz was a phenomenal fighter in his prime, but his most recent transition to the UFC proved he has some major weaknesses. His only win came against another fighter (B.J. Penn) who made a brief comeback only to bow out beaten and busted up. Diaz has the ability and the talent to fight again, but at the same time he has a chance to prove that even the most controversial fighters can make a smooth transition into retirement and be successful there. Coming out of retirement poses far too many risks without any major reward beyond a financial one.
If he feels a comeback is his only option at this stage in his career, he shouldn’t be gunning for the top talent in the division right away. He needs a solid win or two before he steps back up to that level, and he needs to regain his confidence in the cage if he wants to finish his career strong before actually retiring once and for all.