In January of 2015, in the main event of UFC 183, former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz engaged in a memorable battle with middleweight legend Anderson Silva, ultimately coming up short on the judges’ scorecards. Unfortunately, the Stockton native has not been seen in action since.
In the days following the fight, it was revealed that both Silva and Diaz had failed drug tests. Silva had failed a pre-fight test for the banned substances drostanolone, androstane, oxazepem, and temazepem, while Diaz was popped for marijuana metabolites in a post-fight test.
Though Silva’s failed tests were undoubtedly more serious, Diaz was handed the far more severe punishment of the two, given his status as a repeat offender for marijuana-related infractions. The Stockton-based fighter was dealt a fine of $165,000, and handed a whopping, five-year suspension – effectively ending his career.
Luckily, an outpouring of support from the fans – which included a petition tens of thousands of signatures strong – influenced the commission to reduce Diaz’s fine to $100,000, and cut his ghastly suspension to a far more manageable 18 months – retroactive to the date of the fight. This reduced sentence meant that Diaz was free to fight again as of August of this year, with the parameter that he pay the remainder of his fine beforehand.
Last night, the elder Diaz brother gave fans reason to believe that that fine was paid – or perhaps almost paid – and that a return to competition was imminent. He did so with a typically mysterious post to his official Twitter account:
Back in it 💯
— nick diaz (@nickdiaz209) September 28, 2016
Of course, this Tweet gives us very little information as to when and where Diaz might return. It merely suggests that a return could be in the works.
Despite the nebulous conditions of Diaz’s long-awaited comeback, many fans were quick to speculate that the Stockton slugger might be considered as an opponent for the return of welterweight great Georges St-Pierre, possibly in the main event of the UFC’s December 10 return to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. St-Pierre and Diaz have met once previously, in the main event of UFC 158 in early 2013. On that night, St-Pierre emerged the victor with a dominant, decision win.
For the moment, however, this all remains speculation. When it comes to the when, where, and who of Diaz’s return to action, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Who would you like to see the elder Diaz brother face when he finally returns to action? Sound off, PENN nation!