Nick Diaz has not had a scheduled UFC fight in over five years. However, his manager, Kevin Mubenga, confirmed with ESPN's Ariel Helwani that he is fully committed to returning to fighting again so he can successfully make an Octagon appearance in early 2021.
The 37 year old's last fight took place on January 31, 2015 in the UFC 183 headliner, which resulted in a loss to Anderson Silva via unanimous decision, per Yahoo Sports. However, the decision was later ruled a no-contest because both competitors tested positive for drugs banned by the organization. Diaz tested positive for marijuana and Silva for drostanolone and androsterone, which are steroids commonly used for bulking.
Nicknamed Diablo, the scrappy fighter has commented that he wanted to return to the sport prior to the recent announcement from his manager. Diaz originally said that he wanted to return to the Octagon last November. However, at that point in his career, Helwani observed, "I don't think it was the right time for him."
According to his team, Diaz has recently completed an intense 14-week diet and training regimen to better prepare his body for an upcoming competition.
"This is the first time he cut weight in approximately four years," Mubenga explained. "Diaz wanted to do a test cut because he is keeping a close eye on the big welterweight fights coming up. He is 100 percent planning on fighting again."
Mubenga also shared a short video of Diaz with reporters, showing the trimmed-down athlete posing for the camera drenched in sweat and shirtless after a training session. His manager shared that Diaz currently weighs between 165-175 pounds, after his recent training schedule.
"I don't know at this time what helped kicked this off, but what I do know is that he appears to be in the best shape he's been in in about five years," Helwani explained in his report for ESPN.
One of the welterweight competitions Diaz is keeping a close eye on may be the highly anticipated welterweight match between Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley, which is scheduled to take place on September 19 as the main event at Ultimate Fight Night: Covington Vs. Woodley.
The Sun reported that Nick's brother, Nate Diaz, is also speculated to have a match against Jorge Masvidal at welterweight in early 2021 to attempt to claim the BMF title belt, making it possible that both brothers from Stockton will be on the same card early next year.