Nick Diaz intends to compete earlier than the tip of the 12 months – and he’s nonetheless eyeing the champion.
Probably the most well-liked fighters on the roster, former Strikeforce and WEC champion Diaz (26-10 MMA, 7-7 UFC) needs a shot at UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman (20-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC), who’s presently healing from a hand injury.
The 38-year-old returned from an nearly seven-year layoff this previous September when he rematched Robbie Lawler at UFC 266. The bout came about at middleweight, and whereas Diaz landed just a few first rate combos, he finally was overwhelmed and stopped by Lawler within the opening minute of Spherical 3. Diaz talked about his desire to fight Usman earlier than dealing with Lawler, and he nonetheless needs that battle.
“(We’re) engaged on finish of the 12 months. … I’m simply centered on my coaching proper now,” Diaz informed TMZ. “If I’m going to battle, I wish to battle for the title. … They wish to say that I wish to battle a bunch of fellows and stuff like that. Effectively, you understand what? It’s an even bigger battle.
“Simply skip all of the mess. I don’t must go in there and get my ass whooped by one of many younger guys, anyway – and it’s not that I received’t win. It’s simply not motivating to battle anyone that’s – I wish to battle for the title. I’m 38 years outdated.”
Dana White scoffed at the idea of Diaz preventing Usman when Diaz first talked about it, and lots of analysts, together with Daniel Cormier, aren’t keen on seeing him fight again. Nonetheless, Diaz thinks he can dethrone the champion.
“I believe I’ll beat him. … I’d adore it in the event that they gave me a shot,” Diaz mentioned.