Nick Diaz targets UFC comeback early 2021

'100% planning on fighting'

Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is looking to be back inside the Octagon early next year. He plans to compete in the UFC’s 170-pound division, where he previously challenged for the undisputed and interim belts.

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ESPN’s Ariel Helwani shared a video on Twitter today, which shows Diaz weighing-in at the 175-165 pound range (see below). According to his manager Kevin Mubenga, “he just completed a 14-week diet and training regimen”, and “this is the first time he cuts weight in approximately four years”.

“Diaz wanted to do a test cut because he is keeping a close eye on the big welterweight fights coming up,” Helwani wrote citing Mubenga. “He is ‘100%’ planning on fighting again, and is targeting an early 2021 return.”

Nick Diaz (26-9, 2 NC) was last in action in January 2015, when he faced Anderson Silva at UFC 183. The pair went a full distance, which initially ended in a unanimous decision in favor of “Spider”. After Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone (and Diaz tested positive for marijuana) the result was overturned and ruled No Contest.

Following his fight against Silva, Nick Diaz was suspended for five years by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, due to failed drug test of marijuana metabolites. He was also fined USD $165k.

Diaz appealed the suspension, and in January 2016 it was cut to 18 months and USD $100k. In April 2018 he received a one-year suspension from USADA for failing to report his whereabouts on three occasions. As of April 9, 2018 he has become eligible to compete.

Prior to his last to date fight, Diaz challenged Georges St-Pierre for an undisputed UFC welterweight title in 2013. A year earlier he fought Carlos Condit for the division’s interim belt. Diaz lost both fights by unanimous decision.

Diaz’s most recent victory to date, goes back to October 2011, when he scored a unanimous decision against B.J. Penn. The outcome was also the last fight in his series of eleven wins in a row.

A potential return in 2021 will be the first appearance of Nick Diaz inside the Octagon in six years.

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