Nick Diaz has been eligible to return to UFC competition since August, but thus far, it appears that nothing the promotion has to offer interests the Stockton, Calif., native.
According to UFC President Dana White, Diaz recently balked at a big-ticket showdown with a former welterweight champion.
“I offered Nick Diaz the [Robbie] Lawler fight and he turned it down,” White said on the UFC “Unfiltered” podcast. “Lawler accepted the fight. I’m looking for something else for Lawler right now.”
Diaz hasn’t competed since facing Anderson Silva at UFC 183 in January 2015. After the bout, he was initially suspended five years and fined $165,000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission for testing positive for marijuana. Diaz eventually reached a settlement with the NAC to reduce the sanction to 18 months and $100,000. Lawler, meanwhile, hasn’t been in action since losing his 170-pound belt to Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 this past July. He was supposed to return against Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 in New York but ultimately withdrew from that bout, citing the need to recover from his knockout defeat to Woodley.
White said that the Diaz camp had been eager to take a fight and were hoping to make it official at UFC on Fox 22 this past December. Then suddenly, something changed.
“I don’t know (why Diaz turned it down). They were terrorizing me saying they wanted a fight. So they wanted to announce it that night at the Sacramento card,” White said. “Because he was there, it was the right crowd, it’s close to his hometown and they wanted to announce it. I got Robbie Lawler to accept the fight, and I called them and they turned it down.”
Since then, White has offered Diaz another bout but has yet to hear a response.
“They’ve been radio silent on me ever since. I just reached out to them and said, ‘What do you guys think about a fight with Demian Maia?’ And I haven’t heard back from them yet. If Nick doesn’t take it I’ll give it to [Jorge] Masvidal.”