Recently there have been many rumors about the controversial fighter Nick Diaz possibly making a return to the UFC. The rumors seem to have come from all over, including “sources close to the promotion” as well as “sources close to Diaz’s camp” – of course always wanting to remain anonymous. UFC boss man Dana White had always been open to a Diaz return, stating that whenever (if ever) he’d like to return then he would set up a fight for him. Diaz is still under contract with White, and so it isn’t exactly likely that Diaz will run off to another promotion to compete.
For a little background on the situation, we go back to his Strikeforce career from 2008-2011. Diaz was crowned the champ there, and he was nothing less than on fire. He scored nine straight title defenses, eight of them he was able to finish before the twenty-five minutes allotted. He submitted Jiu Jitsu artists, and KOed notorious strikers. The UFC couldn’t resist, and so after they bought out Strikeforce they plucked Diaz out of there and set him up for a title shot at Georges, St Pierre. Diaz would then lose his shot at the title abruptly when he no-showed two UFC press conferences and angered Dana. He was bumped back to co-main event and instead fought fellow marijuana conniseure BJ Penn. In a thrilling affair, he was able to win a unanimous decision over Penn. After the bout Diaz called out St. Pierre infamously yelling out “Where you at Georges?! Where you at motherf-”
St. Pierre was then sidelined with an injury, and he did not enjoy being verbally attacked while riding the bench. The UFC set up an interim match between Diaz and Carlos Condit, which seemed perfectly reasonable at the time. Both fighters bring all they have for each fight, and on paper it sounded like fight of the year material. Inexplicably, Condit transformed himself for that fight and decided his best chance at victory was to circle and pick shots here and there for the entire fight. This disappointed both Diaz and Condit fans alike, and Diaz was handed his first loss in five years. Diaz of course feels that he won that fight, even though the fightmetric stats show otherwise. One thing is for sure though, the fight was a dud. And that part at least was all Condit’s fault. Diaz threw a fit and retired from fighting in the post-fight interview with Joe.
St. Pierre returned and unsurprisingly scored a unanimous decision victory over Condit. This is where things get strange though. The UFC suddenly announced a championship match between Diaz and St. Pierre. Talk about poor timing, Diaz was both “retired” as well as coming off of a loss at that point. St. Pierre then effortlessly controlled Diaz for five rounds without damaging him in the least, and so a frustrated Diaz then retired during the post-fight interview with Joe. Again.
Strangely, Diaz started his own fight promotion after retiring. He put on a decent card and encouraged people to “pay what they could” which was a very interesting business model. Then came the rumors. We heard things like “Diaz wants a fight” and “Diaz training hard again” – and so us fans are left guessing and assuming that retirement means something completely different to Diaz than it does to anyone else. We were all hoping for a spontaneous announcement of a a fight that we could get behind. Maybe a Lawler rematch? Maybe a fight with the surging Rory McDonald? So many fun matches! And then we get this: UFC offers Diaz Lyoto Machida at 185 pounds.
Why?! Why ZUFFA, why?! I will attempt to answer my own question here. We all know that Diaz (love him or hate him) sells tickets. People will pay to see him win, and people will pay to see him lose. So if the UFC really wanted to make their money off of Diaz and market him properly, then wouldn’t they want to have him as the main or co-main event on a Fight Night card in California? Wouldn’t that sell the most tickets? They could have Diaz fight everyone other than the top three in the welterweight or even middleweight division, and they could hand pick opponents for him that would make for fun and compelling fights! Instead the genius matchup they come up with is against the pound-for-pound quickest backpeddaler Lyoto Machida?
Let’s just say hypothetically that this fight happens. I can tell you exactly how it would go without a shred of doubt in my mind. Machida would circle and kick Diaz’s legs for three rounds. It would be even worse than the Condit fight. Lyoto actually has the timing and power to hurt Diaz, too. One thing is for sure, Diaz would retire again after that fight as well. So why match Diaz up with someone like Lyoto that Diaz doesn’t have a chance against, much less try to make an exciting fight to build his stock up? Because that is Dana’s way of sending a big fat middle finger to Diaz’s face. That’s why.