Nick Diaz warming up” src=”http://www.cagepotato.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/031_Nick_Diaz_warming_up.jpg” alt=” width=”500″ height=”333″ />
(Man, I can’t wait until Diaz lays into Larry Merchant for being an instigating little bitch.)
Nick Diaz‘s quest to leave MMA for boxing because his life is a living hell has already hit a minor speed-bump. Though Diaz’s trainer/manager Cesar Gracie revealed that they’d already “signed on the dotted line” for a match against veteran pugilist Fernando Vargas, Gracie updated his story yesterday evening, telling MMAJunkie that Vargas is a no-go:
“We were talking about Vargas, but the thing is, I just came under some information that Vargas apparently has some kind of medical issue where he’s not able to pass the test any more, and he could be retiring. Vargas was very interested, but unfortunately, if he can’t pass the test, he can’t pass the test.”
The Gracie camp is now trying to set up a match with Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, a 33-year-old former IBF super middleweight champion who has lost three out of his last four outings. Meanwhile, boxing promoter Lou DiBella is jockeying for a match between Diaz and Sergio Martinez, the Ring World Middleweight Champion who’s considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. Like Diaz, Martinez has more talent than credible opponents at the moment — but it’s hard to imagine that fight being sanctioned anywhere outside of Poland.
At this point, you might be wondering if Strikeforce is even cool with Diaz pursuing a boxing career, you know, contractually speaking. According to Cesar Gracie (again), they were able to successfully amend Diaz’s contract, which opens the door for boxing matches away from the Strikeforce banner. Well that was easy.
But not only did Diaz and Gracie get Scott Coker to change ink on paper, they actually refused to sign a contract with Zuffa. After the sale of Strikeforce, it was reported that fighters on the SF roster were being asked to sign contracts with their new corporate overlords. It sounded like a high-pressure move, but apparently you can say no if you don’t have much to lose. As Gracie explained:
“[Diaz] thinks Jake will probably beat GSP, so it kind of makes a moot point of him going up (to the UFC),” Gracie said. “(He’s) just kind of not happy with the landscape. He’s just weighing options right now.”
In any event, Gracie said he’s been working directly with UFC parent company Zuffa LLC on the direction of Diaz’s career. He said he hasn’t spoken to Coker, who sold Strikeforce to the UFC back in March, on recent developments.
“I don’t even know how much in charge of things he is any more,” Gracie said. “Ultimately, it’s going to have to go through the UFC, so the only people to talk about it with would be them. What am I going to talk to Scott about? He doesn’t own anything any more.”