Nick Diaz Was Lobbying For Fights with GSP, Colby Covington, and Michael Page Before Landing on Vicente Luque

According to Ariel Helwani, Diaz went through a lot of potential opponents before booking his fight with the No. 14 ranked welterweight contender

Nick Diaz
Courtesy of @ESPNMMA on X

Before Nick Diaz ultimately landed on a fight with Vicente Luque, the Stockton, California native was pulling for a rematch with Georges St-Pierre. 

In an announcement that came completely out of left field, UFC CEO Dana White revealed that Diaz would make his return to the Octagon on Saturday, August 3 when the promotion heads back to Abu Dhabi for one of the biggest Fight Night cards of all time. In addition to bouts like Cory Sandhagen vs. Umar Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson vs. Michel Chiesa, fans will be treated to a co-main event featuring the returning Nick Diaz as he faces the No. 14 ranked welterweight contender. 

Speaking about Diaz’s first fight since a 2021 scrap with ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler at UFC 266, The MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani revealed that the former Strikeforce and WEC titleholder went through a slew of potential opponents before ultimately landing on Luque. 

“This has been in the works for quite some time, I’ve been told,” Helwani said of Diaz’s return. “Nick has been pushing for a GSP fight, didn’t come to fruition. He was then pushing for a Colby Covington fight at UFC 300, didn’t come to fruition. He then went after MVP’s debut and win at 299, pushed for that fight on the June 29th Conor McGregor card, UFC 303. Didn’t come to fruition.”

Helwani continued, “He then pushed for Kevin Holland on the June 29th card and thought that was going to be the one. But as you know, it didn’t come to fruition… They said ‘What about Vicente Luque in Abu Dhabi?’ Initially, he didn’t want to go overseas. [But], I’m told the people in Abu Dhabi want Nick Diaz.”

Nick Diaz Seeks His First Win in More Than a Decade Against a Struggling Vicente Luque

Last year, Georges St-Pierre was scheduled to meet Diaz on the mat at a December UFC Fight Pass Invitational event but was forced to bow out of the grappling match due to an injury. 

Diaz and GSP previously met inside the Octagon at UFC 158 in 2013 with ‘Rush’ scoring a unanimous decision victory. It was Diaz’s last fight until he returned three years ago for a clash with Lawler. Diaz lost that bout as well, retiring 44 seconds into the third round. 

Diaz has not won a fight since a 2011 scrap with BJ Penn. 

As for Vicente Luque, ‘The Silent Assassin’ will look to climb back into the win column after suffering a brutal second-round knockout loss to Joaquin Buckley in March. Luque has gone 1-3 with his last four, his lone victory since 2021 coming against former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. 

Watch the full video below:

Published on May 30, 2024 at 12:02 pm
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