Nick Diaz Plans 2020 Octagon Return, Calls For Clash With Jorge Masvidal
By Ross Markey
Former Strikeforce and World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight champion, Nick Diaz, has outlined his intentions to return to active-competition in the next year, and has his eyes set on a meeting with newly minted BMF champion, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal.
The Stockton fan-favorite spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani for the first time in five years on Monday evening, where he announced his plans to make an Octagon walk for the first time since the beginning of 2015.
American Top Team mainstay Masvidal, just two weeks ago, secured the BMF crown via a doctor’s stoppage over Nick’s younger brother, Nate Diaz at UFC 244 in Madison Sqaure Garden.
An extremely polished grappler and boxer, Nick Diaz has yet to return to the UFC since his UFC 183 ‘No Contest’ against former middleweight champion Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva, in the which the 36-year-old failed a post-fight drug test after a sample test showed the presence of marijuana metabolites.
In a highly controversial and argued decision, the Nevada State Athletic Commission issued Diaz a five year suspension from active-competition and a $165,000 fine.
The suspension was later reduced to eighteen months after an appeals process. Diaz was issued a one year retroactive suspension from USADA for failure to report his whereabouts in both 2016 and 2017, and was officially eligible to return to mixed-martial-arts competition in April of 2018.
Both Nick Diaz and Jorge Masvidal were linked to a bout at UFC 235 in March, with promotion President, Dana White, telling at the UFC 231 post-fight press conference how as far as he was aware, the pairing was finalized. A few weeks later, the bout was scrapped as Masvidal went on to meet Darren Till in London, where he secured a brutal second round knockout.
Diaz holds some quite notable victories over his almost fifteen year career, securing wins over KJ Noons, Evangelista Santos, Paul Daley, B.J. Penn, Robbie Lawler, Frank Shamrock, and Marius Zaromskis.