UFC star Nick Diaz is not going to retire from the sport, and instead is targeting a major fight with middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva according to his manager Cesar Gracie.
Gracie revealed today on GracieFighter.com that he had “a great talk” with Diaz this week in which the controversial fighter, who’s currently serving a year’s suspension from MMA after testing positive for marijuana barbituates following his last fight, backed down from talk of retirement.
Not only that, but Diaz indicated he wants to target major fights in the UFC upon his return, and in particular he wants to challenge himself against Silva.
Aside from a fight with GSP there’s no bigger challenge out there for the former Strikeforce welterweight champion than ‘The Spider’, and coincidentally the noises coming out of the Brazilian’s camp this week are that he too is looking for so called ‘superfights’ at this stage in his career.
It’s GSP that Silva has in his sight so we’ll have to wait and see whether a fight with Diaz would be tempting to him.
What is for certain though is that this is a fresh take on the dilemma of who Silva should fight next that’s come completely out-of-the-blue and the idea of it is sure to excite MMA fans around the world and has the potential to be a money-spinner for the UFC.
One man who might not be thrilled about the idea is the aforementioned GSP. He’s made it clear that he’s very keen to fight Diaz himself after bad blood developed between them last year. If he beats Condit in November then that’s the fight that was anticipated to come next and the UFC may be keen to see that happen before watching either of the two men move up in weight to take on Silva.
It should also be noted that currently Diaz suspension leaves him out of action until February of 2013, though Gracie remains optimistic they may be able to appeal his sentence and return before the end of the year.
According to Gracie he’s going to be meeting with Dana White about this on Monday so hopefully we won’t have long to wait to find out whether Silva Vs Diaz is a realistic possibility or not.
Read Gracie’s full statement on the situation below courtesy of GracieFighter.com.
“It’s been a trying time these last 4 months as I have been faced with the prospect that one of our team’s most talented fighters had decided to leave the sport. As a fan I’ve always admired what both of the Diaz’s brought to the cage; a combination of technical brilliance and raw violence.
Nate Diaz has finally put his game together and found the formula to propel him to the top of the 155lbs division. To see Nick leave at the top of his game was difficult.
For the last couple of months I’ve watched Nick begin to frequent the gym more and more. He’s training harder now than he has for many of his fights. It was obvious that training and fighting is in his DNA. It is who he is.
This week we had a great talk and he made it clear to me that he is ready to get back to the cage. Nick Diaz will return.
To address the NSAC suspension, I will say that we have appealed to the courts and if things go our way, it will be plausible that Nick could return as early as sometime at the end of this year.
For too long NSAC bureaucrats have acted with malicious incompetence towards the fighters. We will challenge them in court.
As far as future opponents, Nick has stated that he would like to take fights “that matter”. Since GSP will be fighting Condit, he has to look elsewhere. He will respectfully ask for a fight with Anderson Silva, a fighter he respects and would like to challenge.
Silva’s camp has been speaking of a fight with GSP, possibly even at a catch weight. Nick will take that fight in a minute but has told me that should Silva decide not to drop at all, he will move up to 185lbs to face the Champ.
I will be meeting with Dana next Monday August 6th to discuss this and other issues. If you appreciate Nick’s fighting style, please let Dana know that you want Nick back ASAP.
Thank you and best regards,