Years ago, under the Strikeforce banner, Paul Daley and Nick Diaz engaged in one of the greatest one-round fights in MMA history. The two welterweight stars swapped heavy artillery from the opening bell, badly rocking one another until finally, Diaz landed with enough impact to force a permanent end to the mayhem.
Today, Paul Daley is gearing up for one of the biggest fights of his career: a Welterweight Grand Prix showdown with his nemesis Michael Page under the Bellator banner.
Nick Diaz, on the other hand, has left the fighting world behind — perhaps forever — and is currently content to “party” instead.
“Look bro, we’re getting drunk right now,” Diaz said in a recent video posted to his Instagram story. “F*** all this – I don’t want to hurt nobody.
“I just want to party,” he continued after guzzling back a swig of Jose Cuervo tequila.
While Paul Daley assures he has lots of respect for Nick Diaz, he’s seen what the former Strikeforce champ is up to these days, and said he’d love to help him regain his focus — and avoid “self-ruin” — be engaging him in a rematch.
“I would love to be the fight that pulls Nick back away from self-ruin,” Paul Daley said in an interview with MMA Fighting’s Danny Segura this week. “He seems to be having a good time partying. He’s a cool guy. I’ve seen him since the fight, and I like Nick. I think it’s a fight that, even though I lost the fight, it’s a fight that people have always wanted to see again. It was just crazy. It was just a crazy ass fight — round even. It was a great fight and I think it would do well as a pay-per-view or crossover fight.”
While Paul Daley would love to fight Nick Diaz again, it doesn’t sound like he expects the former Strikeforce welterweight champion to return to the cage any time soon.
“I think he’s just enjoying life,” Daley said. “It doesn’t look like he’s training, but everyone goes a bit too much by Instagram. Who knows when those pictures were taken. I think he’s enjoying life. If those pictures are up to date, he doesn’t look like he’s training.”
And as for Paul Daley partying with Nick Diaz and his brother Nate — perhaps reminiscing over past battles across a table of Jose Cuervo bottles and empty shot glasses? Unlikely.
“I think I’ve probably seen Nate last,” he said. “I saw Nate in San Jose and we had a little talk about where the afterparty was at, but I stayed away from that. Those Diaz boys are a little bit too wild for me [laughs]. I went the other way.”
Catch Paul Daley back in action in the main event of Bellator 216 this Saturday.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/14/2019.