It didn’t take too long for fan favorite brawler Nick Diaz to launch himself into the thick of things of the UFC’s welterweight title picture. With his 18-month suspension officially expiring on Monday, Diaz put the guys at the top of the welterweight division on blast.
Almost as soon as Tryon Woodley dethroned Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 on Saturday night to capture the UFC’s 170-pound title, Diaz’ name was tossed around, but Diaz told ESPN that he’s not ready to jump head first into a fight just for the sake of it. He wants to get paid.
“We're going to have to see, sit down and have a look at what fans want to see,” Diaz told ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto. “I'm on top right now. I'm on top of this game. There ain't no 'giving' me a shot. I'm giving somebody a shot. If anybody's getting a shot, somebody's getting a shot against me, because I'm the guy to beat. These guys aren't doing any money fighting each other, and until they do some money fighting each other, I'm not interested. I'm looking for the right guy to make the right show, do the right numbers. Then we can talk.”
Diaz was non-committal about when he was officially going to return to the Octagon and with whom he’d prefer to tango.
“We'll see. I have to talk about these things,” he said. “I'm not trying to do any 'what I'm going to do, what I'm not going to do' through the media. I'm just here to say, 'Look, I'm not suspended no more.' These guys are talking about me, asking how I feel about it -- I could (not) care less. What are you guys gonna do for me? I can't help you. You can't help yourself. You need to go help yourself. Maybe after you do that, we can have some sort of deal.”
Diaz was suspended from action following a January 2015 battle with Anderson Silva when the Stockton jiu jitsu wizard tested positive for marijuana metabolites in a fight-night test. The failed test was his third in Nevada and he was initially suspended for five years, but it was later reduced to 18 months.