Nick Diaz and his manager Cesar Gracie have revealed that the dominant Strikeforce welterweight champion will more than likely fight in the boxing ring next.
Apparently unhappy with the amount he’s getting paid (despite picking up a cool $175,000 for his win over Paul Daley last weekend), and also concerned about the lack of future challengers for his title on the Strikeforce roster, Diaz believes that a boxing bout is his best bet.
With that in mind several potential opponents are currently in the hat. At first Fernando Vergas was being touted, but he has stated that he’s not been contacted about the fight, though he seems interested in the possibility.
According to Gracie, Jeff Lacy is now the current front-runner with September or October being earmarked for such a bout, while others such as Sergio Martinez and Ricardo Mayorga are also under consideration.
Lacy is a former IBF super middleweight champion with a 25-4 (1 nc) record. The 33 year-old lost the title back in 2006 to Joe Calzaghe though, and in more recent times has gone 1-3 in his last four bouts.
Still, Diaz Vs Lacy would undoubtedly be an exciting, and extremely intriguing fight as we get to see how Diaz unorthadox, rangey style of striking and cast-iron chin would fare against a legitimate boxing talent.
There is a more concerning undertone at work here though, as the real reason behind Diaz’ push towards boxing is believed to be his disilussionment with the sport of MMA.
“You’ve got to understand that it’s hard to keep these guys motivated when they’ve been fighting for so long,” Gracie reveals to Sherdog.com. “Nick’s been doing this for like 10 years. So we might have to get Nick out of MMA for a while. Maybe we’ll do some jiu-jitsu tournaments.”
It’s unfortunate as Diaz is really coming into his prime at the moment, both as an MMA fighter, and a genuine star who’s fights are now producing some of the best TV ratings Strikeforce have seen on the Showtime platform.
It’ll be interesting to see what Zuffa’s take on this will be given that they now own Strikeforce and have control of Diaz contract. Would this twist their arm into moving Diaz to the UFC or putting on some kind of co-promotional ‘superfight?’
According to Gracie that may be what it takes to reignite Diaz’ desire to compete in MMA, with Anderson Silva’s name being mentioned, though if welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre defeats Diaz team-mate Jake Shields later this month then it’s likely his name would likely be added to the list.
There’s no indication yet that the UFC would be willing to put on such a fight, and so that could mean that it’ll be some time before we next see Diaz back in the cage.