Earlier today, Nick Diaz sent fight fans around the world into hysteria when a video posted on social media platform confirmed his early 2021 return to the octagon. According to ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani, Diaz cut weight for the first time as a test run signaling a return to the octagon. In the tweet posted, Helwani captioned, “This is Nick Diaz earlier today. He weighs in the 175-165 pound range, per his manager Kevin Mubenga. He just completed a 14-week diet and training regimen. This is the first time he cuts weight in approximately four years, Mubenga said. Diaz wanted to do a test cut because” Helwani continued, “He is keeping a close eye on the big welterweight fights coming up. He is “100%” planning on fighting again, per Mubenga, and is targeting an early 2021 return.”
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… he is keeping a close eye on the big welterweight fights coming up. He is “100%” planning on fighting again, per Mubenga, and is targeting an early 2021 return. (📽 @elfrogito)
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 7, 2020
Stephen Thompson calls out Nick Diaz
Soon after the news of Nick Diaz’s return went viral, the fighting world was rife with speculation about who he could face in his return. While there are many interesting potential match-ups, it will be interesting to see if Nick Diaz will get to fight for the title straight in his return to the UFC octagon. While Kamaru Usman would likely welcome the match-up, there’s another interesting option ahead of Nick Diaz.
Former Welterweight title contender Stephen Thompson called out Nick Diaz in reply to Ariel Helwani’s tweet and stated that it would be an honor to welcome back the Stockton native back to the octagon. Thompson cautioned, “I’m down to welcome him back to the ranks! Would be an honor….let’s see where he’s at!”
I’m down to welcome him back to the ranks! Would be an honor….let’s see where he’s at! 👊🏼🙏🏻
— Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) September 7, 2020
It’s an exciting match-up, but one that might not go too well with Nick Diaz. The former Welterweight title contender has been away from the octagon for over 5 years, and ring-rust could be a crucial factor going into the fight. As for Stephen Thompson, he is coming off an incredible victory over Vicente Luque. If reports are to be believed, Stephen Thompson could take on Leon Edwards next, and win against him could cement him for a title opportunity once again at the Welterweight division.
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It’s still not confirmed if Nick Diaz is indeed returning to the octagon, however, he looks fit and ready to fight from the video that is doing the rounds on the internet. 2021 could also see Nate Diaz return against Jorge Masvidal in a rematch for the symbolic BMF belt.
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