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UFC: Can Machida Draw Nick Diaz Out of Retirement?

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Following his UFC 158 loss to Georges St. Pierre, Nick Diaz was once again ready to call it quits on a 12-year career in mixed martial arts. Just like that, all of the excitement surrounding his return to the octagon was extinguished. Diaz had spent over a year on the sidelines following his controversial decision loss to Carlos Condit, testing positive for marijuana metabolites for the second time in his career. Before he even received the news of his positive test,  disappointment (that may be wording it mildly) with the state of judging in MMA was enough for him to declare his retirement right there in the cage. When news emerged several months later that St. Pierre wanted to face the son of Stockton upon his return, it appeared that his retirement would be short-lived. Diaz accepted the fight, and even attended the obligated media events, all to get his chance at UFC gold. After a substandard performance that was riddled with frustration, he once again declared that his time in the sport was over. Dana White relieved him of his post-fight press duties, and the rebirth of his career was over almost as quickly as it began.

If one thing is certain, we never quite know what to expect next from Nick Diaz. He arrived late to the very same post-fight press conference that he had no earlier intention of attending, and once again had a palpable fire in his eyes as he spoke of his future. He was adamant about what few options still intrigued him within mixed martial arts, saying “I could sit here and make a million excuses about why I wasn’t ready for this fight. But the only reason I’m here right now is – I want a rematch. I believe I can beat you (GSP). That’s what I think. I think I might be a better matchup for Anderson Silva as well. But we’ll see what happens.”

Nick Diaz didn’t get the requested rematch against St. Pierre, and with Silva tied up in his own rematch against Weidman it seemed neither of his options wereon the table. He has spent his time away from the octagon exploring other facets of the sport, playing the role of promoter for the upstart WAR MMA promotion back in June of this year, and cornering his brother Nate during his own performances, never once hinting about a return. For his part, Dana has quickly shot down any rumors of proposed match ups, stating simply “He’s retired.”

That all changed, as MMAJunkie.com reported that Dana White has extended an offer for Diaz to face Lyoto Machida at 185 lbs. In a Q&A session for the Shawn Thornton Foundation, White said “I talked to Diaz today, and I made him an offer, so we’ll see what happens. He had been talking about going to 185 pounds. Machida has been talking about going to 185 pounds. So we wanted to see if he wanted to fight Machida at 185.”

The proposed bout is an interesting one, as Machida would be moving down from 205 lbs., and Diaz moving up from 170 lbs. If Diaz took issue with the elusiveness of Carlos Condit, Machida’s lack of willingness to engage in striking exchanges could prove to be a nightmare. On the other hand, if Diaz is able to defeat the crafty Brazilian he would put himself on a short list of contenders in the middleweight division.

There has been no word out of Diaz’s camp just yet, but we will keep you informed as this story develops.