Following his UFC 158 main event loss to Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz implied that he was going to retire from the sport of MMA. He stated that there were no other challenges for him in the welterweight division, however I beg to differ.
Diaz has shown that he has what it takes to compete with the best in the world, however he has fallen short in his last two fight.
The Stockton native had difficulty with St-Pierre’s takedowns in the first two rounds of his UFC 158 battle, however stopped more than a couple in the latter rounds. He mentioned in his post-fight speech that he felt flat during the fight, perhaps due to a poor training camp or a mental lapse the day of the fight. No one really knows, other than Diaz himself.
At the UFC 158 post-fight press conference, Diaz said that he wouldn’t want to retire if he received an automatic rematch against St-Pierre. That is not going to happen, but here’s five possible opponents for Diaz if he chooses to stick around.
Carlos Condit – (Last fight – Loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC 158)
The first bout between Diaz and Condit was highly controversial and many believed Diaz won. Fans were displeased with the outcome and thought that the pressure and cage control he implemented throughout the fight should have given him the nod. It’s like the Stockton native would love to redeem himself.
Martin Kampmann – (Last fight – Loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC 154)
A battle between two stand-up fighters would be fantastic for Diaz’s return match. Kampmann told MMASucka.com previously that he doesn’t think Diaz is “that good.”
Rick Story (Last fight – Win over Quinn Mulhern at UFC 158)
Story showed why he was one of the welterweight divisions best in his fight at UFC 158. He has said that he would like to take on Jake Ellenberger in his next match, however that’s unlikely to happen. Diaz is coming off of two losses and could further his case for a rematch if he can have a solid performance against a wrestling.
Nate Marquardt (Last Fight – Loss to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158)
Marquardt was once considered one of the best in the world at 185 pounds and more recently 170-pounds. However, coming off of two losses has set him back a notch. A win over Diaz could bring him back into relevance, while a win for Diaz would get him back on track. The only issue for Diaz could be Marquardt’s wrestling, as we have seen him have trouble with takedowns. With both being former Strikeforce Welterweight Champions, the storyline is already built in to what could be a stellar bout.
Robbie Lawler (Last fight – Win over Josh Koscheck at UFC )
A fight between Lawler and Diaz could be a long-shot, but it would definitely be a fantastic and fun stand-up scrap. When Diaz beat Lawler nearly 8 years ago, it was a launching pad for his career, and a highlight fight fans have seen on repeat. There’s no doubt Lawler would love to return the favour. Whether or not Diaz would want to take on someone outside of the top 10 is unlikely, but a name like Lawler could make him change his mind.
There are plenty of interesting and intriguing options left for Nick Diaz in the welterweight division. Whether you love him or hate him, Diaz always puts on an exciting performance for the fans. The other option which wasn’t mentioned here is the middleweight division, which he has talked about in the past as well. If you were Nick Diaz who would you want to step back into the Octagon against?
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