According to ESPN, Nick Diaz is finally going to end his four-year hiatus against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 235. The card is scheduled to take place at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas on March 2, 2019.
ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto says he spoke directly with UFC President Dana White on the matter, and White confirmed that Diaz has agreed to the fight. An additional source said that the contracts are not signed, but that everything is close to being finalized.
Masvidal told ESPN earlier this week that he was offered the bout, but he wasn’t sure if Nick Diaz would actually accept.
Oh man … https://t.co/AKH0ivRNJD
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 15, 2018
“The UFC offered us Nick Diaz and obviously we said yes,” Masvidal told ESPN. “I would have loved to fight Nate, too — just because those guys are studs, man. All will. They don’t have the most skills in the division, but they have maybe the most will.”
Apparently, Masvidal was offered other fights, but he was holding out for “the best fight possible,” and now it looks like he has it.
The last time Diaz stepped into the cage was at UFC against all-time great Anderson Silva in January 2015. By the time he fights at UFC 235, he’ll be looking at four years and two months away from the professional fight game.
Diaz originally lost in a decision to Anderson Silva when they fought at UFC 183, but the result was overturned to a no-contest after both fighters failed their post-fight drug tests. The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Diaz for 18-months after he tested positive for marijuana metabolites.
Following the initial suspension, Nick Diaz was also punished by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for missing three drug tests. That suspension ended in April, meaning Diaz will be eligible to fight for almost a year by the time UFC 235 takes place.
Jorge Masvidal has been out of action since November 2017 due to some nagging injuries and taking time to film a reality TV show. Both fighters could be suffering from some ring rust when the fight rolls around.
Masvidal is highly motivated after taking time away, as well. “I’m more eager than I’ve been in a while to get in the cage and have fun,” he said.
He may have been away from the cage, but he never stopped thinking about MMA. “Fighting was always on my mind. It’s something I miss so much. It’s the funnest thing I’ve ever done.”
Diaz is a former champion in the now-defunct StrikeForce, and he fought Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight championship, but came up short. Diaz has an MMA record of 26-9-2, while Masvidal comes into the fight with a record of 32-13.