Many fans, fellow fighters and media pundits were surprised to see former Strikeforce welterweight champion and UFC title challenger Nick Diaz in the crowd at UFC 261.
It also came as a pleasant surprise that UFC president Dana White said Diaz was there because he wanted a fight at the UFC 261 post fight press conference.
Despite the fact that the meeting between White and Diaz went well according to the UFC president, it appears White may have some hesitation about Diaz potentially returning to the octagon.
“My whole thing with Nick Diaz is I just question how bad he really wants to fight,” White said to ESPN. “We got together, we had a great conversation. We talked about a possible comeback for him. I just, I don’t know. We’ll see how it plays out this summer and the rest of this year.”
White then went into detail regarding his feelings on a potential Diaz return.
“It’s just the amount of time that he’s taken off already. When you hear him talk about fighting. When you hear him talk about the sport, and I sit down daily or talk to daily, hungry, young savages that want to break into the top 10. Become world champions, all that stuff, and Nick Diaz has done it all, seen it all, he’s been in big fights. I just don’t see that in him when I talk to him.”
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Diaz has not fought in six years and he has not won a fight in ten years despite facing top level competition in Carlos Condit, Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva in his last three fights.
Regardless of how White personally feels about it, the UFC president is willing to put a fight together for Diaz if that is what the former world champion wants to do.
White says the next course of action regarding Diaz is hearing who him and his camp are interested in regarding an opponent.
“I think that at this point in his career, I think that they’ll come back and say ‘We want to fight this guy,’” White said. “So we’ll see who they say they want, and then we’ll go from there.”
Despite the possibility that White may have some personal reservations about a return to the octagon for Stockton’s favorite son, if Diaz wants a fight, it appears clear White will give it to him.