Former UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping has suggested multiple opponents for a potential Nick Diaz return before the close of 2022 – advocating for him to draw either former title challenges, Donald Cerrone, or even Jorge Masvidal in his comeback.
Diaz, who snapped a six-year Octagon absence back in September in a main card rematch at UFC 266 – suffered an eventual third round strikes knockout loss to former welterweight titleholder, Robbie Lawler in a rematch of their April 2004 matchup at the middleweight limit.
Without a victory since a 2011 decision win against former two-weight champion, B.J. Penn – Diaz was urged by UFC president, Dana White to consider his fighting future following his rematch loss to Lawler.
“Regardless of how good he looked (against Robbie Lawler) or what he did after such a huge layoff, I don’t think Nick Diaz should fight (again),” Dana White said. “It’s not that I was in favor of it. He’s a grown man and can do whatever he wants to do. I just don’t think that Nick does it because he loves it. I think Nick does it because he has to do it. I don’t know, man. People always ask me, ‘What’s the key to success?’ It’s all about being happy and doing what you love.”
Nick Diaz has been touted to make an Octagon return before the close of this annum
Earlier this week, however, Diaz’s manager and long time coach, Cesar Gracie floated a potential Octagon return for the Stockton favorite – encouraging onlookers to expect to Diaz compete before the end of this year.
Sharing his thoughts on potential pairings for the veteran, Diaz in a hypothetical end-of-year return, the above mentioned UFC Hall of Fame inductee, Bisping suggested a bout between the former and the aforenoted, Cerrone.
“That would be a good opponent, we know Donald (Cerrone) likes to fight at 170,” Michael Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “With respect, he’s gotta be coming toward the end of his career. A lot of wear and tear on the body. These two guys (Nick Diaz and Donald Cerrone) have been around the fight game forever. Donald Cerrone vs. Nick Diaz – I would like to see that matchup.”
Bisping further explained how he hopes Diaz does not return to a high-profile matchup at the welterweight limit against the likes of surging contender, Vicente Luque – instead floating a bout against two-time title challenger, Masvidal.
“Here’s one that you might think is crazy, but I’d like to see it,” Michael Bisping said. “You put this on a pay-per-view, it’s gonna sell like a motherf*cker. Nick Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal – there it is, the BMF belt on the line once again. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz in the main event. And then you have Jorge Masvidal vs. Nick Diaz. There’s a massive storyline there…”