Cesar Gracie expects Nick Diaz to fight in 2023, reveals slew of injuries suffered ahead of UFC 266 return

Nick Diaz
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger - Zuffa LLC

Cesar Gracie, the head coach and representative of former UFC welterweight championship challenger, Nick Diaz has revealed his client entered his September Octagon return at UFC 266 against Robbie Lawler with a pair of ruptured discs, however, expects the veteran to resume his career at the turn of 2023. 

Diaz, who returned to active competition in an impromptu middleweight rematch with former champion, Lawler on the main card of UFC 266 back in September, suffered an eventual third round strikes loss to his fellow veteran, marking his first Octagon outing since 2015. 

Nick Diaz is said to have entered UFC 266 with a pair of ruptured discs in his neck

Rumored to make an Octagon return at the turn of next year, Nick Diaz’s head coach, Gracie expects his client to gain medical clearance to return to training in the coming months. And believes the Stockton fan favorite will compete professionally next year.

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“So, we finally were able to go and he (Nick Diaz) got an operation and he put the titanium discs in his neck,” Cesar Gracie told Submission Radio. “So, he’s feeling great from that right now. And it’s like we’re getting the old Nick back, which is really good. So, now that that’s happened, we’re waiting for the doctors. He’s got another appointment I think next month. And then he should be cleared to start his hard training again. Because right now, he can only run and hit the pads and everything. But he definitely wants to fight. And the UFC, I’ve been in contact with them, they just actually called me the other day asking about Nick, and there’s some pretty cool fight options that are in front of us. …”

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“He does enjoy competing,” Cesar Gracie said of Nick Diaz. “He does enjoy being a martial artist. And if he can do things on his terms like that, then he loves it. And so that’s where he’s at. And so he does wanna fight again. He feels like, especially now, I think he feels like he has something to prove. For me, I don’t care if he ever fights again. Because he’s an amazing teacher, there’s all kind of stuff that he can do. But he wants to do it for him. So, that’s where we’re at.” 

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Without a victory since an October 2011 decision success against former two-weight champion, B.J. Penn, Diaz managed to scoop both WEC and Stirkeforce undisputed championships during his storied professional career.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.