Potential Matchups for a Nick Diaz Return

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So you’re saying there’s a chance? It seems like this is a yearly occurrence when discussing the former UFC title challenger and Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. Is Nick Diaz returning? The question whether or not the eldest Diaz brother steps back into the octagon is being pondered again. But according to his manager, we may finally get the answer. Diaz has not competed since January of 2015 due to a suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for marijuana use. Diaz only competed four times in the UFC, but became a fan favorite years earlier in Strikeforce. If the comeback is legitimate, here are three realistic matchups that should be discussed for Stockton’s own:

Return of the BMF

Jorge Masvidal

This matchup has already been discussed before and it still holds true. The storyline is set. Nick Diaz returns to avenge his brother’s loss. The diehards would scramble to text their buddies and alert them of the news. However, there would be some legitimate concerns with the bout. The new age of fight fans haven’t had the pleasure of watching a prime Diaz in action. Could he sell after being out for six years? Mind you, Masvidal is one of the biggest draws in the sport and the Diaz brothers have a cult-like following which was on display at UFC 244.

Another concern is Masvidal being a title challenger and the competitiveness of said fight. The welterweight division is stacked in the top five. Those concerns are warranted, but Masvidal is only a year younger than Diaz and aside from his bout with Georges St. Pierre, Diaz has been competitive in every fight he’s ever been in.

The Rematch

Robbie Lawler

A rematch with “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler isn’t as marketable as Masvidal, but in a pure violence aspect, this takes the cake. If you haven’t done so already, go watch their fight from all the way back at UFC 47. The fight delivered as only it could in typical Diaz/Lawler fashion. Both fighters are near the end of their respected careers and it’s only fitting that a rematch is made. Lawler is currently ranked #14, but he’s coming off of four straight losses. This wouldn’t headline a pay-per-view, but it could certainly main event a fight night card. Both of these men are pioneers of the sport and deserve one last hurrah. 

Styles Make Fights

Demain Maia

Now Maia doesn’t bring the glamour that the previous options do, but he does bring a stylistic matchup that would have the fans clamoring. One of the best Jui-Jitsu practitioners the sport has ever seen, Maia still has some name recognition that would draw fans. Diaz is the superior striker, but it would be a chess match if the fight fell to the floor. Maia owns 11 submission victories in his UFC career and only has a limited number of fights left. If the comeback does come to fruition, who will we see against Diaz?

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Brandon Joint is a 28 year old graduate of Slippery Rock University. He resides in Willoughby, Ohio with his fiancé and two children.

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