Last month at UFC 266 Diaz made his much-anticipated comeback against Robbie Lawler. Diaz had some moments in the fight, but looked rather slow and maybe a bit out of fighting shape as well. The fight was a rematch that was 17 years in the making. Diaz won their first meeting back in 2004 via TKO. Lawler ended up getting the better of Diaz the second time around by TKO in the third round.
Diaz’s former rival, GSP had his own thoughts on how he looked in his comeback fight. “It was a tough night for him because he came back after six or seven years. It was a long, long time. Nobody can come back as good as they were before, after that much time. I’m under the impression that Nick left a lot of money on the table, unfortunately for him, because maybe his best years are behind him. For sure he was rusty.” (Sportskeeda)
GSP made some really good points. To not fight for almost seven years and to come back against Lawler, who still possesses a lot of power in his hands may have been the wrong move. The UFC should have given Diaz an easier opponent to ease himself back into fighting shape. The first red flag that Diaz was not in fighting shape, was when they made the fight a middleweight bout instead of a welterweight. That made many believe that Diaz would have simply not made weight if it was a welterweight fight.
St-Pierre also knows a bit about taking a lot of time off and getting right back in the octagon against a dangerous fighter. He was dropped in his first fight back against Michael Bisping and was in real danger for a little. When you take a lot of time off like that, you’re simply just not your old self. Still, St-Pierre cemented his place in the gclub (GOAT Club) with his second UFC title win.
Do you think Nick Diaz can return to his old self?