That proposed Nick Diaz–Lyoto Machida UFC middleweight fight certainly didn’t have much of a shelf life. UFC President Dana White put the halt to any further discussions, saying it was simply a “bad idea.”
Personally I thought the fight might’ve been an awkward matchup given the fighters’ respective styles, but I thought it would be a sell-able fight as both were considering a move to middleweight, and both are well known names amongst fans.
So now what for Diaz? If he is serious about returning to the Octagon, I think a terrific option would be to stay at welterweight and take on the hottest fighter in the division right now in Matt Brown.
Brown is fresh off a 29 second KO win over veteran Mike Pyle at UFC Fight Night 26. He’s clearly top-10 material thanks to his current six-fight win streak. His post-fight callout of champ Georges St.Pierre isn’t going to get him a title shot anytime soon, so he would probably welcome a fight against a guy who has previously fought for the title.
For Diaz, I think it would be a better alternative than the Machida fight. Fans could already envision a scowling Diaz talking to “The Dragon” telling him to fight and getting frustrated by his counter-punching karate style.
With Brown, there would be no need to tell him to engage. The 32-year old comes to fight and is very aggressive. He’s shown good versatility with his offensive attack and has never looked better. Diaz would have someone right in front of him and he would get the opportunity to show off his ridiculous punch output, and he would also definitely have an advantage in the ground game. Diaz would likely be the type who would make it his mission to try and become the first fighter to ever stop Brown via knockout.
Diaz is used to high-level competition, so Brown may not be the lure to get him to stay at 170 pounds. He may scoff at not being in the Octagon against a top-five opponent. For Brown, it would be an opportunity to prove to some that he’s an elite fighter, and Diaz would be the best opponent of his UFC career.
It’s a fight that may never happen, but I think most would see it as a better all-action affair than what Diaz-Machida might have been.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports