Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is seemingly in incredible shape ahead of his planned return to the UFC’s Octagon in 2021.
The elder Diaz brother recently laid out plans for his first fight in close to five years, even undertaking a test fight camp and weight cut in anticipation of that return. While some members of the MMA community doubt that he’ll follow through on this plan, he certainly seems to be in top shape.
Photographer Scott Hirano recently snapped some pictures of Diaz putting in work in the gym, and the former Strikeforce champ looks like he hasn’t missed a day of training since his last fight.
See it below:
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Comeback Season 2️⃣0️⃣9️⃣
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 13, 2020
Nick Diaz has not fought since January, 2015, when he took on former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The fight was originally awarded to Silva by decision, but that result was subsequently overturned when the Brazilian tested positive for the banned substances drostanolone and androsterone, and Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites. Since then, Diaz has been linked to a comeback on several occasions, but as of yet, it hasn’t happen. His fans are understandably hopeful that this latest comeback talk proves true.
While Diaz seems to be in fantastic shape as he begins to prepare for his return to the cage, his long-time friend and teammate Jake Shields recently revealed that the former Strikeforce welterweight champ has struggled with alcohol during his long hiatus from competition.
“I think maybe there was one point where he got a little out of control,” Shields told SiriusXM (via Middle Easy). “But we knew that he would be back in. People gotta realize, I’ve been partying since I was 14. So for me it’s like, I’d have a fight, party, it was normal.
“But Nick never drank, never did anything other than smoke pot obviously. He was completely dedicated to just train, train, train. So I think while he did go that way for a little bit, got a little out of control, he’s reigning it back in.
“I think he’s got that part of his life over, he’s not out in Vegas all the time anymore, he’s back training. I think we’re seeing the old Nick coming back.”
How do you think Nick Diaz will perform if he returns to the cage in 2021?