When news of Nick Diaz’s plans to return in early 2021 surfaced, many questions were raised – including, is it actually going to happen this time around?
Count UFC President Dana White among those who are skeptical.
According to his manager Kevin Mubenga at ESPN, Diaz went on a 14-week diet and training regimen, as well as a test weight reduction to get somewhere in the 165 to 175 pound range. More importantly, Mubenga also said that Diaz will “keep a close eye” on some of the big welterweight games to come in the UFC, and that the former welterweight title challenger plans to return in early 2021.
After DWCS Season 4: Week 6, White spoke to members of the media and was asked about reports of Diaz’s potential return.
“The Nick Diaz thing: First of all, we would never have published this or done that,” White told reporters backstage at UFC APEX. “We’ll see how it goes. I have no expectations at all. We’ll see what happens. “
Diaz, 37, has not competed since abandoning a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva more than five years ago at UFC 183; the loss was turned into a no-contest after both contestants failed drug tests. It’s been almost nine years since he won his last fight, a unanimous decision victory over BJ Penn in the main event of UFC 137 in October 2011.
Following a five-year suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission that was reduced to 18 months, fans have repeatedly come up with the idea of a Diaz return hanging in front of them. Despite a long absence from the competition, his star power increased.
When asked if there had been any discussions with Diaz’s camp, he didn’t shut the door on the idea. But he certainly didn’t sound too confident.
“Yeah, there was talk,” White said. “But we’ve been talking for years.”