The Octagon return of fan-favourite former Strikeforce and WEC welterweight champion, Nick Diaz is “99.99999” percent likely to occur next year, according to the Stockton native’s manager, Kevin Mubenga.
Diaz, who has been out of action since his eventual ‘No Contest’ headliner with former middleweight champion, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva all the way back at UFC 183 in January 2015, recently completed a test weight-cut back to 170-pounds, following a strict training regimen — with hopes on sealing fights in the promotion’s welterweight division in 2021.
The 37-year-old Californian was slapped with a one-year retroactive suspension by anti-doping agency, USADA for failing to report his whereabouts. Ultimately serving the sentence back in April of 2018 — Diaz has been eligible to return to professional mixed martial arts since.
The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu standout’s manager, Mubenga spoke with reporter, James Lynch from the Fanatics View recently, where he provided an update his client’s impending comeback.
“That’s the millions and millions of dollars question,” Mubenga said. “Yeah, the guy (Nick Diaz) has been training. He’s been training for at least four months now straight. … Now, we’re in December — we’re what? Four months (or) five months in now?“
Approaching the new annum, Mubenga told how they hope to strike a sufficient deal with the promotion, both monetarily and opponent wise, which would get the ball rolling some more on an expected Octagon return.
“He (Nick Diaz) took a little break last month and now we’re going to pick it back up in December and go into the new year hopefully with a new deal done,” Mubenga said. “(We’ll) make sure the money is right and the opponent is right and we’ll be able to move forward with all of this.
Mubenga seemed almost certain spectators would see the elder Diaz brother step foot inside the Octagon next year when asked for a figure on the likelihood of his return.
“99.99999 (percent),” Mubenga said. “We just got to get everything else right with the organization and everything. We’ll be able to move forward. He’s been training. People want to see (that). Well, he’s been training as you can see for the last few several months. He took a little break now. Now, it’s time to get back on there and just go through it. You don’t want to overtrain and over-exhaust yourself, especially when you don’t have a date yet. But it was good to be able to go through the regimen and go through that small camp there to kind of feel everything out (and) get back with everyone (like trainer) Cesar Gracie.” (H/T MMA Junkie)
One of the most recognisable and charismatic competitors in recent Octagon memory, Diaz has scored eye-catching career victories over the likes of Robbie Lawler, Gleison Tibau, Frank Shamrock, Marius Zaromskis, KJ Noons, Evangelista Santos, Paul Daley, and his most recent career victory, a 2011 decision win over B.J. Penn.