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Nick Diaz Eyes 2021 Return to UFC

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With the Welterweight scene looking just as strong as ever, one of its legends is eyeing a comeback. Confirmed by his manager, former Strikeforce, WEC, and IFC welterweight champion Nick Diaz has completed a “test weight cut”, and is eyeing a return for 2021. His manager claims he’s somewhere in the range of “165-175” pounds. Leaving the one question. We know he’s going to fight again, but whom is he going to fight? Today I tell you why I think it could be former welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, or our BMF champ Jorge Masvidal.

Many fans know him for his thrilling battles. The knockout over “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. The fight of the night decision over BJ Penn. For others it’s the fighting spirit. The pre-fight and mid-fight trash talk and antics that hype a fight up to monumental levels and that cemented him as one of the stars of our sport. I think we’ve all heard the famous quote from boss man Dana White: “Nick Diaz is a needle-mover,” and hate him or love him, that’s just something you can’t deny.

Nick Diaz last fought at UFC 183 on January 31st, 2015, against Anderson Silva. Silva would win by unanimous decision however, the ruling would be overturned as he popped for PED’s and Nick for a failed marijuana test. If Nick  makes a return in 2021 that would make 6 years since we last saw him compete in the cage.

Many forget the version of Tyron Woodley that showed up to the Paul Daley vs. Nick Diaz fight wearing the shirt that said: “I got next”. At the time, Nick was defending his Strikeforce title and Woodley was a surging contender. CEO Scott Coker told mmaweekly that, “Woodley needed a few more wins.” Preventing us from getting this exciting matchup. Woodley would go on to become the welterweight champ of the UFC, and he would continue to call for a Nick Diaz fight that the fans would never see.

We know that Tyron Woodley is scheduled to fight Colby Covington on September 19th. Win or lose however, that doesn’t effect this matchup. Here’s why: If Tyron wins, he still wouldn’t be likely to get another title shot. He’s coming off of 2 big losses and Kamaru’s already got a set opponent in Gilbert Burns.

So if Nick is eyeing a return for 2021, it would be the perfect money fight to welcome him back to a loaded division. A win over Tyron and suddenly Nick has major momentum that makes a big Jorge Masvidal fight more feasible. It would also make sense for Tyron as Nick would probably be a more winnable matchup on paper then a fight with say, Leon Edwards or any other fighter in the top 5.

His younger brother Nate Diaz is likely going to be rematching Jorge in January. If Jorge is victorious a second time, that could also lead to a big money fight for Nick. Who really had a problem with Jorge’s talks of planning to “Baptize” Nate ahead of their first fight. Also, middleweight contender Darren Till was calling for the Nick Diaz return fight. “If @nickdiaz209 wants to come back & scrap, who’s the biggest star, fight & best fight for him outside the Middleweight champ.? Fucking me that’s who…,” Till posted.

Regardless of the opponent, Nick Diaz’s return will be a major moment for our sport. The man is a legend, an innovator, and one of the most entertaining personalities of all time. So whether it’s the Woodley, Masvidal or, Till fight. Whoever it is. Fans everywhere will be rejoicing. Thank you for your time, and as always, enjoy the fights!

Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!

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