The bad boy is back, baby. The UFC announced this evening that welterweight star Nick Diaz has signed a three-fight contract extension, and will tentatively return to action in early 2015, against an opponent to be named later. (Probably not Joe Riggs.)
Diaz has been “retired” since his decision loss to Georges St. Pierre in their title fight at UFC 158 in March 2013. Since then, the Mayor of Stockton™ has popped up here and there to threaten folks with an ass-whoopin’, but refused to return to the UFC unless it was for a title fight. Luckily, a 16-month vacation has changed his opinion. Sort of. Here’s what Diaz said to UFC.com about his current goals and what he’s been up to lately:
“I’ve been doing a whole lot of not getting punched around-type stuff,” Diaz said Thursday afternoon at UFC headquarters. “I’ve been staying in shape pretty good, doing a lot of running. It’s been a good experience having this much time off.”
The target for Diaz and the UFC is to get him back in the cage early next year, but the confident 30-year-old fighter said he’d be ready to fight tomorrow.
“Next year I guess, whatever though. I can fight tomorrow; tonight,” he said. “You have to do what you have to do. … [I came today] to sort things out with Dana White and Lorenzo [Fertitta].
“It was hard times for a little bit, but people act like I’ve been doing nothing. I’ve been getting some things done. Just because I’m not getting punched around every day doesn’t mean I’m not focused on what I’m doing. Now, here we are.”
Now that Diaz is back, the obvious question is who he might face in his first fight. Diaz said he wants to fight anyone that will get him to a title shot, or somebody that will help put on a memorable show for the fans.
The first name that came up was UFC legend and former middleweight champ Anderson Silva, who has been linked to a Diaz super fight for months now. It just so happens that “The Spider” will be back about the same time Diaz is looking to return.
“I’d like to fight for the title,” Diaz said. “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.
“I’d be interested in fighting [Anderson Silva] and anything that’s going to do well,” he continued. “As far as Anderson Silva, I think that would be a great fight for people to see because he has my type of style.”
Oh my God. Oh my God oh my God oh my God. Stay tuned.
Update: Anderson Silva wants to fight Diaz on the Super Bowl Weekend 2015 card. Wow. Now that’s a superfight. Cross your fingers, and pray that the MMA Gods don’t destroy this one out of spite.