BOSTON – For now, Nick Diaz remains retired. But if he wants to come back, UFC President Dana White has an offer for him: Lyoto Machida in a middleweight contest.
“I talked to Diaz today, and I made him an offer, so we’ll see what happens,” White said. “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.”
White revealed his offer during a special Q&A session at Boston’s Barrio Cantina, where he appeared as part of a fundraising effort for The Shawn Thornton Foundation at an event billed as the UFC Homecoming.
Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC), the former Strikeforce welterweight champ, hasn’t fought since March, when he lost a unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre in a failed bid for the UFC welterweight title. It was Diaz’s second decision loss in a row after he also fell short against Carlos Condit in a UFC 143 bout for the UFC’s interim welterweight title.
After the loss, a frustrated Diaz said he was done with the sport and has thus far kept his word.
Meanwhile, former UFC light heavyweight champion Machida (19-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) fought earlier this month at UFC 163, where he suffered a hotly contested unanimous-decision loss to Phil Davis. Both before and after the bout, Machida teased the potential for a move down to 185 pounds but ultimately said he’d defer to UFC brass to make the decision.
The offer seems to throw some doubt on a rumored Machida vs. Vitor Belfort fight, which White was also said to be looking to book. Belfort has repeatedly refused to fight at 185 pounds unless he’s granted a shot at the title, but that belt is currently tied up until new champ Chris Weidman rematches former titleholder Anderson Silva in December. Instead, Belfort has expressed a desire to fight outside of the division in hopes of retaining his position as a No. 1 contender in the middleweight class.
“I wanted Machida to fight Vitor Belfort, but Vitor Belfort is his own matchmaker, apparently,” White joked. “He wants to make his own fights.”
White said he’s not sure whether or not Diaz will accept the offer, and an exact date for the matchup has yet to be determined, though November seems the most likely timeframe. But for now, it remains Diaz’s choice. White said he tendered the offer and will now wait for a response.
“They said they’d get back to me,” White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
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(Pictured: Nick Diaz)