White has consistently shut down talk of a return to the octagon for Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC), who has not fought for the promotion since 2015. So much so, it’s a quip that we are all used to hearing from him. (H/T MMA Junkie)
“You never hear me say that, ever,” White joked. “You say, ‘Do you think Nick Diaz will fight this year?,’ and ‘absolutely, positively not’ is what I usually say.”
The promotion cited different reasons over the years for why Diaz would not return. However, the most recent explanation came after a meeting between the two just last month after UFC 261. White left the meeting questioning Diaz’s desire to fight. Diaz has done it all, what does he have left to prove? Additionally, can he overcome the six-year layoff? These questions left White unsure of Diaz’s motivation.
Still, it appears that between then and now, White has given the return more thought. In an interview with UFC Arabia’s Farah Hannoun, White admitted that he’d had a change of heart.
“I wasn’t very high on it. I didn’t think that it would happen, but it looks like it will,” Dana White shared.
Diaz has been adamant that he would return to the UFC at some point but will not just take any fight offered to him. And while White had previously suggested a matchup against Khamzat Chimaev, Diaz has no interest. Other fighters, like Jorge Masvidal, have thrown their names into the mix for Diaz’s octagon return, but there is no confirmation at this time if they are viable opponents. Still, it appears that the latest conversation between White and Diaz, as well as Diaz’s training videos, are paying off.
“The matchmakers have (spoken to Diaz) and I don’t know where we’re at on it, but it’s looking promising,” White said.
Who would you like to see Nick Diaz face in his UFC return?