Nick Diaz looks to be in phenomenal shape ahead of a potential return to the UFC’s Octagon in 2021.

The former Strikeforce welterweight champion hasn’t fought inside the Octagon in almost five years. However, it looks more likely than ever that the elder Diaz brother will finally be making his return. With Diaz even recently undertaking a test fight camp and weight cut. Doubt in the MMA community continues to linger as to whether Diaz will actually end up making the walk to the cage anytime soon.

In recent pictures taken by Scott Hirano, Diaz looks to be in great shape as he continues to workout in the gym.

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Nick Diaz hasn’t competed since his fight with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in January 2015. Silva originally won the bout via a decision, with the result overturned after the drug test results came back. Silva tested positive for banned substances drostanolone and androsterone, whilst Diaz also tested positive for marijuana metabolites. Diaz has been linked with a comeback on several occasions since, with nothing materialising as of yet. Hopeful fans of the Stockton-native have their fingers crossed that his return might actually be coming to fruition this time.

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Diaz’s stint away from the octagon wasn’t all fun and games. Long-time friend and teammate Jake Shields recently revealed that the Strikeforce welterweight champ has struggled with alcohol during his long hiatus away from competition. (H/T Middle Easy)

“I think maybe there was one point where he got a little out of control,” Shields told SiriusXM,. “But we knew that he would be back in. People gotta realize, I’ve been partying since I was 14. So for me it’s like, I’d have a fight, party, it was normal.

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“But Nick never drank, never did anything other than smoke pot obviously. He was completely dedicated to just train, train, train. So I think while he did go that way for a little bit, got a little out of control, he’s reigning it back in.

“I think he’s got that part of his life over, he’s not out in Vegas all the time anymore, he’s back training. I think we’re seeing the old Nick coming back.”

Do you believe that Nick Diaz will return to the UFC’s Octagon in 2021?