Nick Diaz’s UFC Return At 41 Labeled ‘Much More Dangerous’, Given Chance vs. Gunshy Contender

Daniel Cormier hopes Diaz "shows a better form this time" around at UFC Abu Dhabi.

Diaz Return
(via @nickdiaz209 - Instagram)

Daniel Cormier was “very shocked” upon hearing Nick Diaz would be fighting again in 2024.

Diaz, the former Strikeforce Champion is the last of a rare breed, making his UFC entrance all the way back in 2003, competing in the Octagon here and there against what the world had to offer. The UFC Welterweight went without a fight between the latter part of 2015 until 2021, where he returned to rematch former champion Robbie Lawler and suffered a TKO loss in the third round.

The Stockton-native draws another tough opponent at UFC Abu Dhabi when he takes on #14 contender Vicente Luque on Aug. 3. Diaz’s second fight in nine years will come a day after his 41st birthday. The MMA community is left divided on the booking, questioning if the call from the matchmakers was the correct one.

Cormier Reacts To Diaz’s Fight Announcement

Former two-division UFC Champion Cormier finds Diaz’s comeback fight “worrisome”, too, addressing the noticeable disparity between Diaz’s last opponent in Lawler to a younger, fresher fighter in Vicente Luque as well as Diaz getting the opportunity to do what he loves from the world’s biggest stage.

“First off, I was very shocked,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “If I’m being completely honest with you, after watching Nick Diaz the last time, I was like, okay, he’s done. But when I heard the news, I’m excited. I got so excited, because it’s like, how often do we get an opportunity to see a guy that meant so much to us?

“I watched him in Strikeforce. I watched him do all that. Now, the matchup, that’s a little worrisome for me because Robbie Lawler seemed to be at the same stage in his career with him. Vicente Luque is not there. This is a much more dangerous fight for Nick Diaz. I just hope that he shows a better form this time. So, honestly, man, excitement. Because I get to see a guy that I’ve watched for a long time.”

DC: “Every Champion Has One Night Left”

Cormier said an aging fighter like Tony Ferguson, 40, would’ve made ‘more sense’ to book Diaz against in his return, seeing as though both beloved stars haven’t won a fight since the COVID-19 pandemic came into existence. Luque’s also coming from a loss in his last fight against Joaquin Buckley that saw the Brazilian in a tight spot, fending off ground and pound strikes until the referee called off the action.

“The Silent Assassin” stands off against Diaz at 32 years of age, banking that his skills outweighs Diaz’s superior experience in the fight game. As the retirement narrative has batted Poirier all throughout this week, the same will be said for Diaz in the summer as one more loss could result in such a decision at 42 years old.

Cormier knows a thing or two about fighting into his forties and believes Diaz still has fight left in him ahead of Abu Dhabi.

“I say these things right and I’m not making comparisons, but I do recognize that a great champion always has one last night,” Cormier went on. “I watched George Foreman at 47 years old beat Michael Moorer in a fight that he wasn’t even supposed to be able to compete in and he got it done. He was a little old, a little out of shape, knocked him down, got beat on. His toughness carried him. Every great champion has one night left.

“So, for me it’s about seeing if Nick has one more night, he might not. Hey, give him the benefit of the doubt, if he goes out and he looks like he did last time, let’s be done with the Nick Diaz experiment. But I mean, shoot, man, this dude has earned an opportunity to go out there one more time and see if he can do something special.”

Should We Be Worried For Diaz?

Nick Diaz (26-10) might not have won the UFC title or every big fight that came his way, but he fought just about anybody they put in front of him and that continues to this day for the former title challenger. Is there room for concern for Cormier, heading into Diaz’s return fight? DC says: not so much as Diaz could be getting Vicente Luque at a really good time with him losing badly against Buckley recently and not looking like his usual self.

“I get what you’re saying, concern. Look, when Nate Diaz was scheduled to fight Khamzat Chimaev, I was worried,” Cormier revealed. “I was like, oh, my god, this is gonna be ugly. I don’t get that feeling [with Diaz vs. Luque]. I don’t feel like after watching Vicente Luque in the last fight against Joaquin Buckley. Now, Joaquin Buckley is a fantastic fighter, and he’s in his prime, but I didn’t feel like Vicente Luque is still that aggressive guy that he was, or we remember from back in the day when he was in the top five.”

Will Nick Diaz pull off the upset at UFC Abu Dhabi?

Published on May 31, 2024 at 7:55 pm
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