Cesar Gracie has just announced that Nick Diaz is expected to make an Octagon return in 2022.
This news comes as a surprise considering Diaz looked disheveled during his last outing. In September of 2021, Nick came off of a 6-year layoff when he faced Robbie Lawler on the main card of UFC 266.
Diaz’s performance was nothing short of disappointing. The former Strikeforce champion was visibly out of shape. In addition to this, he appeared to just give up in the octagon.
Diaz was previously known for his unbeatable cardio and fast hands, Diaz seemed to be in bad shape and appeared to be a shadow of his former self. To make things worse, he visibly gassed during the later rounds.
After Diaz gave up, Robbie Lawler was awarded the TKO victory. At the time it was believed that Diaz suffered some sort of an injury in process.
Many fans wondered if Nick Diaz’s head was in the right place. During the 6 year layoff, videos of Diaz visibly drunk and partying were posted almost daily to his social media.
Even his opponent, Robbie Lawler, appeared concerned.
Awesome moment between Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler at UFC 266 pic.twitter.com/SNFJ2NPAuE
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) October 6, 2021
Many longtime fans were hoping that was just a one more cash grab by Diaz that could help him sail into a careless retirement.
Cesar Gracie posted on Instagram a picture of Nick Diaz with the caption “Look for Nick Diaz to fight by the end of the year.”
UFC president Dana White is not excited by the prospect
“I don’t think Nick should fight,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “I just don’t think that Nick does it because he loves it.”
“It’s all about being happy and doing what you love. It seems to me like when I always talk about the people who sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic and go to a job they hate, that’s what I feel like when Nick Diaz is getting ready for a fight.”
“He’s in bumper-to-bumper traffic going to a job that he doesn’t love at all. It’s actually fascinating.”
Earlier this year, Ariel Helwani blamed Cesar Gracie for Diaz’ sad octagon showcase.
Helwani shared behind the scenes details about Nick Diaz changing management teams. Helwani explained on his podcast with the Ringer that Cesar Gracie is likely to be the main culprit for that strange final performance of Diaz we witnessed last year.
“Well, what I was told was like, late summer, this past summer. Basically what I was told was this. Cesar (Gracie) showed up, he was training in LA and he’s like: ‘You’re coming, I’m taking over this camp, and you’re coming back with me’. And Nick went.”
“So there’s something there. There’s something that happened. And it was just kind of fascinating to me that this old figure from his past, who by the way, if you go to that story that I wrote in first person after he was suspended for five years, about you know his past that he gave me this incredible story…”
“He references Caesar as like this crooked jujitsu coach who acted as his manager and all this stuff. And Caesar got mad about that. And Nick then called me the next day and asked me to retract it, and I didn’t and it was a whole mess of a situation. So basically, there’s obviously a lot there. And you notice that Cesar and Nate aren’t exactly like, two peas in a pod these days. Nate’s doing very well for himself. And it was, it was I think, upsetting to the people who thought that they were getting Nick back on the right track that he came back and took them away. That’s very sad, isn’t it? “