When Nick Diaz is eligible to re-apply for a fight license in February 2013, a top fight in the UFC welterweight division will be awaiting him, but it won’t be a title fight.
Diaz lost his last bout by unanimous decision to current UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. He was then suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for marijuana following the bout.
Because it was his second infraction for the same substance, Diaz was handed a one-year suspension by the commission. The suspension runs through Feb. 4, 2013.
The UFC’s welterweight division will move on in Diaz’s absence, most notably on Nov. 17 at UFC 154 when Georges St-Pierre returns to action to face Carlos Condit to unify the welterweight title.
Also on that card, Martin Kampmann meets Johny Hendricks in what is presumably a No. 1 contender’s fight with the winner getting the next crack at either St-Pierre or Condit.
While the reigning UFC champion still has to get through Condit before anything else can happen, St-Pierre has had a long standing feud with Diaz over the last two years, and a fight between the two rivals could be one of the most requested fights in UFC history.
UFC president Dana White is well aware that many fans are still clamoring for a St-Pierre vs. Diaz showdown, but it won’t be the fight welcoming the Stockton bad boy back to the cage even if GSP defeats Condit.
“When Diaz gets off suspension, he’ll have a fight against one of the top guys at 170 pounds, and then we’ll see what happens,” White said this week.
“I agree, a lot of people want to see that fight.”
Diaz’s camp has pushed for a fight against pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva, although there’s not much chance that bout actually comes to fruition.
What’s more likely is Diaz returns in early 2013 and faces any number of top eligible welterweight contenders currently without a fight. Names would include Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, or Jake Ellenberger, but right now Diaz still has to wait for the suspension he’s currently under to be lifted and then he can book his next fight.