No question the UFC’s new Performance Institute is incredible. Francis Ngannou has practically moved in since transplanting to Las Vegas. It’s an enormous facility complete with the most up-to-date and cutting edge ways for any professional fighter to train and recover, provided at absolutely no cost to current UFC athletes. They even have comped meals. Which brings us to Nick Diaz: Was his visit prompted by a bout of the munchies, or is he serious about coming back again? Diaz recently took a tour with UFC’s Vice President of Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky.
“I think [Nick Diaz] does [want to fight], I think he does. I’ve sat down with him over the past couple months trying to resolve this whereabouts issues. The unfortunate thing there is, look, the whereabouts failures are there to catch people that are cheating and trying to avoid testing. I just think Nick’s lifestyle led to those three whereabouts, not that he was trying to avoid testing. We’re trying to work through that. [Nick] trusted certain individuals to do his whereabouts for him. What I think happened was, over time, those individuals were in and out of his life, and it was unbeknownst to him that he was missing all these things. But again, there’s strict liability here. He’s currently under sanction, but we’re hoping to resolve that pretty quick.” — Jeff Novitzky talking to Joe Rogan on his MMA show.
Novitzky has been optimistic about Nick Diaz returning to the Octagon and has been meeting with him directly, so maybe this tour is a continuation of that for the Stockton fighter. Diaz did seemed impressed by the $12 million fighter’s paradise. However, he also did call it The Umbrella Corporation as they were driving off. If you’re not familiar, that’s the dark organization that serves as the behind-the-curtain villain of the Resident Evil franchise. Fingers crossed we see Nick Diaz in the Octagon in 2018. It’s no secret that they need stars with Ronda Rousey out and Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, and Georges St-Pierre’s future up in the air.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/10/2018.