UFC exec Jeff Novitzky is optimistic that Nick Diaz will fight again.
It’s been more than three years since former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz has stepped into a UFC octagon, was last set foot inside the cage on January of 2015 with no contest against middleweight legend Anderson Silva. It seems there is still widespread hope that he will one day return to the cage.
But the UFC brass Dana White isn’t optimistic the perennial fan favorite will ever fight again. While UFC VP of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky believes we might see Nick Diaz back to Octagon.
Novitzky said he needs to work out his issues stemming from his failure to report his whereabouts, as required by USADA.
“Nick was our first fighter that ran into the whereabouts issue,” Novitzky explained on Joe Rogan Experience (h/t MMAJunkie.com) “So he got three whereabouts failures in a rolling 12 months, so he’s currently going through that process. It’s a tough one.”
“I think he does [want to fight],” Novitzky continued. “I think he does. I’ve sat down with him over the past couple months trying to resolve this whereabouts issues. The unfortunate thing there is, look, the whereabouts failures are there to catch people that are cheating and trying to avoid testing. I just think Nick’s lifestyle led to those three whereabouts, not that he was trying to avoid testing. We’re trying to work through that.”
The USADA spokesperson Brad Horn confirmed Nick Diaz is still under provisional suspension “pending the resolution of his case, as the matter is still pending.” The UFC announced the suspension in June.
Jeff Novitzky further explained Diaz’s troubles with USADA.
“(Diaz) trusted certain individuals to do his whereabouts for him,” he said. “What I think happened was, over time, those individuals were in and out of his life, and it was unbeknownst to him that he was missing all these things. But again, there’s strict liability here. He’s currently under sanction, but we’re hoping to resolve that pretty quick.”
As said previously, UFC brass Dana White, who has long questioned the Diaz brothers’ desire to fight and not optimistic about his return.
“I highly doubt it,” White told MMAJunkie mid-way through 2017. “I don’t know. I honestly don’t think that, and I can’t speak for him, you’d have to speak with Nick himself, but if you ask me – people ask me, ‘Do you think Ronda (Rousey) is coming back?’ No. I think Ronda’s going to retire. Ronda hasn’t retired, but my opinion is, I think she will. I don’t think Nick Diaz will ever fight again. I just don’t think he has the desire anymore.”
Diaz hasn’t tasted victory in the UFC since a win over B.J Penn back in October 2011, and White believes that the red-hot welterweight has lost the passion needed to compete at the sport’s highest level.
What do you guys think Nick Diaz will ever fight again?