Nick Diaz signed a three-fight extension with the UFC. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Nick Diaz’s oft-rumored, eagerly-awaited return from retirement is finally a reality.
UFC President Dana White first brought word of Diaz’s comeback via Twitter on Thursday.
Shortly thereafter, the promotion revealed that the Stockton, Calif., resident signed a three-fight contract extension. Diaz has not fought since losing a five-round verdict to Georges St. Pierre in a welterweight title tilt at UFC 158 on March 16, 2013.
"I've been doing a whole lot of not getting punched around-type stuff," Diaz told UFC.com. "I've been staying in shape pretty good, doing a lot of running. It's been a good experience having this much time off."
Diaz has been rumored as a potential opponent for Anderson Silva’s comeback from a broken leg. While nothing was announced on Thursday, a report from MMAFighting.com hinted that Silva-Diaz could take place on the UFC’s traditional Super Bowl weekend card in 2015.
White offered a different take on the tantalizing bout, although his statement would seem to align with a potential Super Bowl weekend booking.
"There is no update on Anderson vs Diaz," the UFC boss wrote on Twitter. "Anderson can't fight [until February]. Lorenzo and I have not even talked to Anderson."
Diaz, meanwhile, seemed open to a variety of possibilities.
“[I’d like to fight] next year I guess -- whatever though. I can fight tomorrow; tonight," he said. "You have to do what you have to do. ... [I came today] to sort things out with Dana White and Lorenzo [Fertitta].
"It was hard times for a little bit, but people act like I've been doing nothing. I've been getting some things done. Just because I'm not getting punched around every day doesn't mean I'm not focused on what I'm doing. Now, here we are."
A former Strikeforce titlist, Diaz returned to the Octagon after a nearly five-year hiatus with a unanimous decision triumph over B.J. Penn at UFC 137. In his next outing, he lost a highly-disputed decision against Carlos Condit for the interim welterweight strap at UFC 143. After his loss to St. Pierre, Diaz claimed he was “done with mixed martial arts.”
He made good on that promise for a while, even launching his own MMA promotion, the Stockton, Calif.-based War Mixed Martial Arts. However, demand for Diaz’s return was high, and the Cesar Gracie product started making media rounds at UFC events over the past few months.
Although he and the promotion were finally able to come to terms, one thing hasn’t changed: Diaz still wants to be involved in the biggest fights possible.
"I'd like to fight for the title," Diaz said. "I think that would be a big deal and worth fighting for. I want fights that will lead to a title fight. Whoever is in line and whoever has the title, that's who I'm going to be fighting,” he said.
"I'd be interested in fighting [Anderson Silva] and anything that's going to do well," he continued. "As far as Anderson Silva, I think that would be a great fight for people to see because he has my type of style."